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#416614 - 01/02/17 08:48 AM Leaving the Catholic Church  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 172
Wheelbarrow Offline
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Wheelbarrow  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 172
Ireland
I'm trying my best to remain in the Catholic Church. I have been considering a move to the Orthodox church for many years. Some things keep me from going over but it's hard for me. I went from RC to attending Byzantine Catholic services to having my boys baptised and Chrismated there, to now staying at home and not attending any services at all.

My problem with my local Byzantine parish is that its all in Ukrainian, attended only by Ukrainians and even their website has removed the translation tool from Ukrainian to English so I could at least understand what services were going on and at what time.

I went to the local Russian Orthodox Church which is great. Even though it is all in Russian, it seems to be attended by lots of different ethnic groups including Irish converts. On top of this it feels more like a ''mission'' rather than a respite for the homesick who want to gather together and celebrate their ''church'' and their ''culture''.

I don't know what to do because right now its hard for me to convert as the papacy and reading all those quotes on it from the early fathers is whats keeping me from making the jump into Orthodoxy.

Is there any Byzcath priest here or laity who wishes to make contact with me and talk to me? my own parish Byzantine priest has never contacted me nor makes contact at all and we're literally the only english speaking people in the congregation. I just feel he's more interested in keeping us away. I get paranoid and assume that maybe he just wants rid of us and would rather we don't come at all? just stay in the roman church.

When I asked about a canonical transfer he said he'd ask the bishop but I never heard from him again. maybe the bishop denied? I dunno. I'm shy ya see.

All this is pushing me towards the Russian church and all I ever do is watch Eastern Orthodox videos, theology and documentaries all night and day. I feel like someone with no church and I have to go SOMEWHERE.

Would appreciate it if someone out there has some advice for me. I've a wife and two lovely boys who I want to guide in some Christian faith, right now its not looking like the Catholic one regardless of my conscience regards the papacy. I'm at the stage now where I'll just go for anything.

God bless
Stephen

#416616 - 01/02/17 09:56 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Apr 2016
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Matthew1917 Offline
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Matthew1917  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2016
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Virginia
Hello -
I understand what you are saying - I myself have dealt with similar things. It has been a rollercoaster for me sometimes on this journey.

#416617 - 01/02/17 10:22 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 90
ast82401 Online content
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ast82401  Online Content
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USA
Stephen, may God bless you and I will pray for you. I would advise that you pray for a sign from God as to whether or not you should convert. Also, where do you live? I would suggest trying to find a Byzantine Catholic church that has services in English and with a good priest who is willing to listen.

#416618 - 01/02/17 10:41 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: ast82401]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 172
Wheelbarrow Offline
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Wheelbarrow  Offline
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Posts: 172
Ireland
Originally Posted by ast82401
Stephen, may God bless you and I will pray for you. I would advise that you pray for a sign from God as to whether or not you should convert. Also, where do you live? I would suggest trying to find a Byzantine Catholic church that has services in English and with a good priest who is willing to listen.


Thank you. I was just walking to the shops and thinking that to myself that all I need to do here is pray. Its gotten to me so bad that I've entered a depression over the whole thing and has been hard focusing on my current job.

I live in Ireland one hour from the only Byzantine church in Ireland which is in Dublin. Fr.Vasyl is the priest there and ya know he's not a bad chap, he's very quiet though and I got the impression from him that he's disinterested in us and my wife felt the same.

We just feel awkward as its all Ukrainian and I don't understand a lick of it. So apart from that there is no other parish. I'm tied to going to these roman masses once a week with my wife whose now talking about getting the boys to make their Holy Communion. She's happy enough that the whole Byzantine adventure of mine has failed as she is quite content in the roman church.

I want to convert so badly but its certain things thats keeping me from going not to mention the pressure of being the only convert in the family if I did and maybe contributing to spiritual confusion of my two sons who are only 3 and 5.

Thanks again for your response.

#416619 - 01/02/17 10:58 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 90
ast82401 Online content
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ast82401  Online Content
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USA
I have one more suggestion. Whenever you get the chance, email Fr. Mike Polosky. He is really a great priest and I know he will be able to help with what you are going through. If you go on sspeter-paul.com, just send an email to the church and he'll respond. God bless you.

#416620 - 01/02/17 11:13 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: ast82401]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 172
Wheelbarrow Offline
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Wheelbarrow  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 172
Ireland
Originally Posted by ast82401
I have one more suggestion. Whenever you get the chance, email Fr. Mike Polosky. He is really a great priest and I know he will be able to help with what you are going through. If you go on sspeter-paul.com, just send an email to the church and he'll respond. God bless you.


Thank you :-)

#416624 - 01/03/17 01:01 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 71
jova Offline
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jova  Offline
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USA
I did leave the Roman Catholic Church! I am an Eastern Catholic now. I love my parish and my priest but he is older. I have been fretting should he retire or God forbid, dies. I do not know where I would go for Divine Liturgy. We have visited a Russian Orthodox parish. We love the people, love the priest. Very holy man. With no where else to go, I would go there. For my soul.

#416625 - 01/03/17 03:28 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 154
rome1453 Offline
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rome1453  Offline
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Portland USA
The problems with orthodoxy in Europe is that the churches are ethnic. The Russian parish I attended in Edinburgh for a few months was bi lingual. The litanies are done in Slavonic and English. I know Fr Vasyl and the parish in Dublin is very welcoming. I had to learn liturgical Ukrainian and as a Deacon, I had to chant the language. It is not hard once you spend time with it. Now that I am in the USA, the English translation for the liturgy is so bad, I would rather serve at a Ukrainian language parish. If you know the liturgy, then language is not a problem. Just my 2 cents. Dn John

#416626 - 01/04/17 05:13 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Jan 2017
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seven_mansions Offline
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seven_mansions  Offline
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California
I am an ex-Orthodox Catholic revert in California. I was in the Orthodox Church (mostly in the Serbian Diocese of Western America) from 1990 to 2003, when I decided to revert (it is a long story about why I decided to convert to Orthodoxy, and another long story about why I decided to revert to Catholicism).

I am active in my local Roman Catholic parish (lector, EMHC at the altar and to the sick: I am a Lay Carmelite as well), but I attend a Melkite mission once a month or so. I want to scale back my Sunday activity at Sacred Heart, while continuing to attend weekday Masses there: I want to attend Divine Liturgy at Annunciation Mission on more Sundays than not. I don't know for sure if I want to transfer my jurisdiction to the Melkites, but I am thinking about it.

If there had been a Byzantine Catholic parish within 10 miles of me (I do not know how to drive, so travelling long distances is out of the question for me to regular attend) when I was converting to the Orthodox Church in 1990, I probably would have become a Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian, Melkite, Ukrainian etc.). When I was converting to the Orthodox Church, I did not know that there were Eastern Catholic parishes in the US. Although the Melkite mission that I go to is just a couple of miles from my house, it has existed for only about five years or so.

Stephen, I will pray for you. When I became Orthodox, I did not realize that I was committing a sin (in the eyes of the Catholic Church, of course). I don't have any advice to give to you, but I hope that things will improve with you.

#416641 - 01/10/17 01:08 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Jun 2014
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UkrCathLDN Offline
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UkrCathLDN  Offline
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here
Where do you serve now, rome1453?

#416747 - 02/21/17 09:43 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 252
bkovacs Offline
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Eastern Pennsylvania
From my own personal experience. It is better not to intermingle traditions for the sake of the Papacy. If you feel called to the Byzantine tradition than stick with it. Whether it's Eastern Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. The Papacy may be important. But your soul and the souls of your family are more important. Many will flip flop between Byzantine and Roman do to being Catholic. But I advise against it. For it brings more confusion to your spiritual life than harmony. Many Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox get along very well, even though they may not be in communion with each other. But nothing can stop them from having vespers and matins together. Just an example. You will find it easier as a Byzantine Catholic to discuss your faith and traditions, with a Greek or Russian Orthodox Christian, than someone of the Latin rite. What ever you decide to do, God Bless!. One more thing. Don't get stuck with the ethnic squabbles.

#416765 - 02/24/17 01:05 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
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The young fogey Offline
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The young fogey  Offline
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Let's see if this post gets past moderation. Another revert here, five years back in the church and loving it. The Orthodox' anti-Westernism soured me on them fast, so when I came back, nominally after 16 years, I didn't set foot in a Byzantine church again for about four years. Then a Ukrainian Catholic parish moved from its now-slum city neighborhood, merging with another parish into a building rather close to home; like seven_mansions I go once a month. Older, Americanized congregation; part of the Liturgy is in Ukrainian (I know Slavonic and Russian) and the parish neither suppresses nor advertises Ukrainianness, which seems exactly right. I'm a traditional Latin Masser belonging to a parish in the archdiocese but unofficially biritual with my three-bar cross, small but authentic icon corner consisting of part of a late Russian man's collection, and Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic prayer books. My prayer life's a quick tour of the Orthodox/Byzantine Catholic prayer books and hours, essentially (I skip around), which I cue to the Western dates for Easter and Christmas that most Byzantine Catholics in America use, so there's not a lot of conflict with the Roman Rite. The purists might wince at that, and I do respect the integrity of rites and particular churches, but it works for me. I do things such as read the Russian Orthodox canon to prepare for Communion late Saturday, then receive at the Tridentine Mass the next morning. I don't do latinizations at the Ukrainian parish or at the icon corner at home other than the calendar adjustment I mentioned. Actually, as often is the case, the Ukrainian-American congregation isn't enthused about the modest delatinizations they've had and they don't identify with the Orthodox at all, which isn't quite right but they're good Catholics, believing everything the church teaches. Mostly they miss the great Catholic neighborhood they used to have.

I feel for the original poster, Wheelbarrow. It's a lot like the situation some other Catholics are in of feeling called to be Byzantine but there is no Byzantine Catholic parish to be had. For such, if they can handle it without leaving the church, I'd suggest non-communing monthly attendance at the friendliest Orthodox parish you can find, plus weekly attendance at Saturday Vespers. As bkovacs wrote, "nothing can stop Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox from having vespers and matins together."

One of my best church experiences back when my Saturday evenings were free was to go to a friendly Slavic Orthodox (OCA) parish in my city, one that over 100 years ago was a schism from a Byzantine Catholic parish, and join in singing Vespers at the kliros in the loft with... the Byzantine Catholic parish priest from a few blocks away (Saturday Vespers died out long ago in his parish, as it has in my Ukrainian one, if either ever had it) while the Orthodox priest (a friendly Slavic born Orthodox from the Rust Belt) officiated from the altar, then all get together and go to a diner afterwards. I'd do that again in a heartbeat. All according to both sides' rules and beautiful. But a lot of Orthodox wouldn't be amenable to that, in which case an option is to visit but keep to yourself.

Basically, what I can tell you is while Byzantine culture is wonderful, don't put it above God and the church. That should keep you Catholic. The church doesn't begin and end with Eastern cultures. We include the East. The Orthodox don't include us. That's a huge reason I came back.

I don't think I'm called to switch rites and particular churches but it's all in the Lord's hands.


#416767 - 02/25/17 12:31 AM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: The young fogey]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Nelson Chase Offline
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Nelson Chase  Offline
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Fatherhood
I'm a convert to Orthodoxy (2004-2009) who later converted to Catholicism. There is a lot to admire in Orthodoxy but there is a lack of authority within the Orthodox Church. While contemporary Catholicism has its problems (dissenters everywhere and a Pope who is too vague at times), it still has maintained the authority entrusted to St. Peter and his successors by Our Lord. My experience as an Orthodox Christians confirmed for me the absolute necessity of the Petrine office. Recent events, like the Council in Crete and the Antioch/Jerusalem debacle, have only confirmed this for me.


Last edited by Nelson Chase; 02/25/17 12:33 AM.
#416770 - 02/25/17 06:25 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
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Utroque Offline
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Utroque  Offline
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Kennebunk, Maine
As one has taken a similar course, Nelson, I can only confirm what you have to say in your post. You might like to take a look at the first post that I made (#294809) back in 2008 in which I justified my switch to be in union with Rome.

#416771 - 02/25/17 10:12 PM Re: Leaving the Catholic Church [Re: Wheelbarrow]  
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The young fogey Offline
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What's funny is considering that the papacy is the only real sticking point between the two sides, at least as we see it, the Pope really isn't much to do with my conversion, though Nelson is of course right (I think the Orthodox literally can't call a council as he suggests). I'm still simpatico with the Orthodox idea of a communion of churches run largely by custom; the thing is I believe in that and I'm a Western Catholic (albeit one with a foot in the East), convinced that this church through the centuries has got the goods. It hasn't fallen into schism or worse.

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