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#417298 - 08/08/17 10:37 PM Procopius of Ustiug question  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
LittleFlower Offline
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LittleFlower  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
Canada
I am a convert from Russian Orthodoxy to Catholicism and I'm having a difficult time. I know our faith isn't based on private revelations but there are some things I just can't seem to put together.. For example, from the Catholic side we have miracles were Our Lady herself speaks in support of the Immaculate Conception, the Papacy (Our Lady of Good Success).. There are converts from Orthodoxy who went on to live very holy lives such as Mother Catherine Abrikosova or Blessed Leonid Fyodorov.

I always heard about Orthodox miracles too but I thought, there's no contradiction, they have the Eucharist after all. Recently I read about Orthodox Saint Procopius of Ustiug and I just can't figure out how to understand it all. In Orthodox writings they say he was Catholic and then saw the beauty of the Byzantine liturgy in Novgorod and became Orthodox. But a copy of Latin psalms were found on him as he died and I read that the Schism wasn't immediate... The excommunication between the representatives of the East and West happened in the 11th century but most ordinary people didn't even know about it and the Schism took a few centuries.. Especially in Russia which was more removed. Procopius lived in the 1200is and died at the very beginning of the 1300s. So was there even a Schism there at the time? However the West attempted to invade Novgorod in the 1200s and a lot of the events were related to political situations relating to the Schism so I don't know... I can't tell if he just wanted to be Eastern, or if he wanted to leave union with Rome and was aware of that.

The reason I'm asking is because he went on to live a really humble life filled with miracles! If the Catholic Church is the true one how do we understand that? I'm wondering if anyone knows the history and maybe Novgorod wasn't aware of the schism at the time? Or is there some explanation?

And on the other hand there are all those Catholic miracles clearly and explicitly supporting Catholic doctrines like the Papal Infallibility, Purgatory, Immaculate Conception etc! I am Catholic but I struggle with fear and scruples and something like this is very confusing to me and I just can't figure out how to put it all together with the Catholic understanding. Today I honestly felt like I was losing my faith and had a strong temptation to give up. I got so afraid I'm wrong in being Catholic but I'm afraid to leave Catholicism too. There are reasons I believe in the Catholic Church.. I would appreciate any thoughts and prayers.. Or any information that could help me understand the Orthodox Saint i read about.. Thank you

Last edited by LittleFlower; 08/08/17 10:40 PM.
#417303 - 08/09/17 11:45 AM Re: Procopius of Ustiug question [Re: LittleFlower]  
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Economos Roman V. Russo Offline
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Economos Roman V. Russo  Offline
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Posts: 551
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The Catholic Church is the Orthodox Church of the West. The Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church of the East. Unfortunately, by and large, these two family members are not in communion with each other. That is the sin of schism!

#417344 - 08/24/17 08:27 AM Re: Procopius of Ustiug question [Re: LittleFlower]  
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Don Fannuci Offline
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Don Fannuci  Offline
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Posts: 3
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Little Flower:

Procopius of Ustyug may or may not have formally "converted" to Eastern Orthodoxy. Very likely, he was like the vast majority of laymen of the time, who simply knew they were Christians and didn't pay much attention to ecclesiastical geo-politics. When Procopius lived in Germany, he worshiped the way Latin Christians did, and when he moved to Russia, he worshiped the way the Russians did. Or maybe he was indeed a convert to Orthodoxy. So what? The same God who performs from within His visible Church can also perform them outside it, whether among heretics, schismatics, or even infidels. He doesn't necessarily perform these wonders in order to confirm the truth of any particular religion; He may well perform them in order to confirm particular truths which non-Catholics share with Catholics, or simply because He is the Father of all men and desires to do good things for His children, their false beliefs notwithstanding. The presence of miraculous phenomena outside the Church poses interesting questions, but it isn't faith-refuting.

#417404 - 09/08/17 10:05 AM Re: Procopius of Ustiug question [Re: LittleFlower]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
LittleFlower Offline
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LittleFlower  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
Canada
Thank you! Of course I agree that God could work miracles wherever He wants. There also seems to be a lack of historical consensus in the sources that I read, about when the Schism really became apparent - many people might not have known about it at first and one source talked about it being more known in the 1200s..


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