www.byzcath.org
I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?

Chad,

Welcome to the forum.

We cannot answer that for you, except to say that you should do so if you find that you are or will be more fulfilled in the spirituality and belief and praxis that will be part of your life as a Byzantine Catholic versus that as a member of the Orthodox Church.

This community is comprised, as described elsewhere in a sticky thread on this forum, chiefly of Eastern and Oriental Christians - both Catholic and Orthodox, as well as a smaller number of Latin Catholics and Protestants who have an interest in and love for the East. We don't proselytize and no one is going to get out there and tell you why one Church is 'better' than the other. To allow that would open this forum to being another venue for polemical diatribe by self-proclaimed apologists and it's not what we're about.

That does not mean that there are not both Catholic and Orthodox members here who believe that the fullness of faith is more present or even present only in their particular church. It would be naive of me to suggest that not to be the case. But, triumphalism and zealotry don't fare well in these halls.

Members will gladly share with you why they made the decisions that they did - whether to become Catholic or to become Orthodox - and, over the years, we've had many do one or the other. But, I hope that no one of those who made such a change can ever say that, announcing their decision, he or she was ever made to feel that their fellow forumites did anything other than offer prayerful wishes that they be at peace in their new-found faith and grow in it.

But, ultimately, the decision as to 'why' you should 'go' one way or the other is yours. It will depend on what you believe, maybe how you believe in what you believe, how you understand things, what is important to you, maybe what is more important to you.

Ask of us what you will and we'll try to answer you honestly, but don't ask that we tell you what you should do (which is really what your question asks), we can't answer that. It's a decision between you and God.

Many years,

Neil
The reasons I remain Byzantine Catholic are many and complicated but I reckon it all boils down to the fact that as a BC I remain in union with the Pope of Rome and also I perceive I have greater access to liturgical diversity than the Orthodox seem to have. I do believe that unity with the Pope of Rome is the most correct ecclesial model. Just because I think it's the most correct doesn't mean it's beyond criticism or that it always has good effects...I hope you find the ecclesial community which you believe best glorifies God and provides peace in your life. Having said that, I hastily add that ecclesial affiliation ain't about ME as much as it is about GOD. We have to discern His Will, asking not the question "what do I want?" but rather "what does God want?" A competent spiritual father/mother might help.

I see from your profile you are Latin Catholic. Please investigate and visit verious BC and OC parishes to get to have an experiences of both.
Thank you both for your response. I appreciate your kindness. And rest assure my intentions of asking my original question was to see what members valued about there own faith. Something that may aid me in my journey. I by no means wish to spark a debate between churches.

Originally Posted by Chad2279
Thank you both for your response. I appreciate your kindness. And rest assure my intentions of asking my original question was to see what members valued about there own faith. Something that may aid me in my journey. I by no means wish to spark a debate between churches.


Chad,

Be assured that I didn't intend to suggest that you were looking to hear anyone tout their Church, while denigrating the Church of others. And, we actually enjoy debate - ask the right question and debaters will come out of the woodwork. Ask whatever you would like to know or which will help you in exploring your choices and reaching your decisions; we've never been accused of being overly shy.

I would offer one suggestion. Given your newness to the forum, the kind of inquiry that you pose can be difficult to address because we don't know you. We don't know from which faith you're approaching the East, what your experience is with the East to date, what about the East has attracted you, things of that nature. We're not looking for you to divest yourself of personal information, but I think you can see how that kind of information about an inquirer can be helpful in understanding them and offering insights to them.

Many years,

Neil
Why am I Byzantine Catholic? I love the Eastern Liturgy and I want to be in union with Rome- the Orthodox varies so widely- some want to be one church while others pray simply to be one Orthodox church.
Chad- your profile says you are Latin rite Catholic. Perhaps you want a more traditional way of worshiping- To become Orthodox, you would give up unity with the Catholic Church. You would gain other things- but I guess I am a bit sensitive on this subject. In my husband's country of Romania- many Catholics lost their lives simply because they wanted to keep praying for the Pope- this is not something to give away lightly
Follow you conscience. Every side has their martyrs, and has made them in kind. That is a double edged sword.
Originally Posted by Chad2279
I have a question and I ask this with all sincerity.
Why should I become a Byzantine Catholic instead of
becoming Orthodox?

I am still too new to posting to be able to view profiles, but most responders here note that you are currently Latin Rite.

I do think a lot boils down to whether you are willing to give up being in union with the Pope. If you transfer rites within the sui iuris churches, you will still be in union with Rome. You could become a parishioner of an Eastern Catholic church without transferring -- but if marriage, sacraments for children, future vocation to diaconate or priesthood are considerations, you'll have to transfer. If you become Orthodox, you will be rejecting Catholicism.

I have an aunt & uncle who have been in many places, church-wise. My aunt (Mom's mom, my own godmother) was raised Methodist, but my late maternal grandfather was born/raised Ruthenian Byzantine. He fell away from Catholicism altogether, and had questions about Faith altogether, so when he and my late grandmother were married, they went to her church, which was Methodist. My uncle, Aunt K's husband, was raised Roman Catholic, but stopped practicing at some point in time. My aunt has been a part of many different churches over the course of many years. Within the past 15 years, they came into the Roman Catholic church, were attending an indult Tridentine Mass sometimes, regular novus ordo RC Masses at other times. At some point my aunt became upset at her priest or the parish or something, and led the charge on them converting (Not transferring to an EC Rite) to Russian Orthodox.

When they converted, they had to LITERALLY "turn their backs" and renounce the Catholic Church as part of their conversion. If you've ever seen a Byzantine baptism, everyone turns their backs on evil at the start of the baptism. They face the back of church, and then turn forward to symbolize rejecting Satan and facing Christ. My aunt and uncle had to do this, but with regards to the Catholic Church. It was a stab to the heart when I learned they had done this. Even now I tear up, thinking of how, in a Catholic --> Orthodox coversion, the Catholic Church is basically viewed in the same way that Satan is in baptism. cry Well, later, my aunt became upset about something in the Orthodox church (I think it was fasting regulations) and decided they were returning to the Catholic Church. Now they are attending a RC church again. Aunt K. is mad about something again, so who knows what will happen. I just pray for her, because she is clearly seeking something and either hasn't found it, or has found it and is either blind to it or is being obstinate and keeps running from what she has found. My uncle, on the other hand, embraced the chance to confess leaving the church and returning. I don't think he's going anywhere this time.

This is not in any way to tell you that one is better than the other. I'm just telling you to give you the idea of what you do if you leave the Catholic Faith and convert to the Orthodox Faith. This was at least the case in a church in the southern tier of NY.

Now, if you are RC and are feeling pulled to something else, and are finding it in Eastern Christianity, I can relate on that, too. Around 2000 we began our own journey toward the East. We had moved from southwestern PA, where the churches were more traditional and reverent, and orthodox (little 'o'), where we had met at a Catholic college, to central NY. The RC Diocese of Rochester, NY was a culture shock to us, where Masses in most churches really violated a lot of guidelines. Priests violated guidelines, and even the Bishop publicly stated that he disagreed with "no ordination for women," but would not disobey it. My husband & I went to a talk for men who felt they might be called to the diaconate, and the vocations director there stated to a woman who was there with her husband, that who knew? Women being ordained to the diaconate was not outside the realm of possibility. We walked out of Mass at the church closest to us on more than one occasion for the things they allowed, including the week that the resident nun stood up and delivered the homily.

Before anyone jumps on me for running away from problems in the RC and telling me we should have looked harder, well, we DID look harder. We drove a half hour to the least offensive parish in the area and were very involved there from 1999 - 2002. We drove 1-1/2 - 1-3/4 hours a couple times to attend an indult Mass but found we didn't feel at home there at all. But at the same time, we had started attending liturgy at the nearest Ruthenian Byzantine parish to us (1h. 15m. away) in about 2000 or 2001. We had run into one of our priest friends/former professors from college, who was going for bi-ritual faculties. He was so in love with Eastern Catholicism that he recommended that we seek out an EC church just to experience the Liturgy. We did, and instantly felt how he did. So we did our best to go to both churches for a while. Saturday at one church, Sunday at the other. Then in 2002, we found a Ukrainian-Byzantine church much closer to us. We went to Liturgy there and instantly hit it off with the pastor. It was a very small church, and not very active, but it was close and the pastor was very excited about helping us be involved there and helping if we would decide to seek a Transfer of Rite.

In 2002 our pastor at the RC church was being transferred to a church in NYC. (he was an ordered priest, not a diocesan priest, so went wherever his Provincial told him, which could be outside of the diocese) We felt it was a good time for us to really investigate whether we were truly being drawn to the East or not, so that October we joined the little Ukrainian parish and attended regularly. From Oct. 2002 - Oct. 2003 we prayed, and remained involved, and prayed some more. All the time we felt more and more drawn to the East. As I said, I still had relatives on my mom's side who were Byzantine Catholic. There are Byzantine Catholics on my dad's side as well. My paternal grandmother's home parish is a Ruthenian-Byzantine one. Her brother, my godfather, is still an active member there. I was at my cousins' weddings there.

The more we went, it hit me how Byzantine spirituality was so much more like my own. We felt we had found home, despite it really being a dying parish. It may have started with us simply seeing a more orthodox church than what was in the RC diocese. But it grew into much, much more. I knew that I wanted our son (already baptized) and any future children to receive their sacraments in the Byzantine Church. By 2003 we were finally expecting our second child, and it was very important to us for this child to be baptized Eastern Catholic.

In Oct. 2003, we wrote our letters to apply for a Canonical Transfer of Rite from the RC Church to the Ukrainian-Byzantine church. In Jan. 2004 the transfer was approved. We have "officially" been Byzantine Catholics for seven years. Our daughter was born in Feb. 2004, and was baptized, chrismated & communed in March 2004. Our son had been baptized in the RC church in '96, but had his First Confession, First Holy Communion and Chrismation in March 2004. While there are certain times of year that we keep some traditions that are of "both lungs," and when visiting family (still RC) we make it to RC Mass more than Byz.Cath. Divine Liturgy, I have never once looked back and felt that we made a mistake in transferring. Not once.

Over the summer we moved to my dad's home area because of my husband's job. In October, we became parishioners at my grandmother's home parish, and love it. We are home, you know?

Before you make any decisions, have you started "checking out" Eastern churches? It is best to become an active parishioner at an Eastern church and spend at least a year prayerfully discerning whether you are feeling called to change Rites, before applying for the transfer. There is nothing wrong with attending Orthodox Liturgy as well, without receiving Communion at this time. You'll find that the two are very similar in Liturgy and tradition.

But as a previous poster said, the decision to leave the Catholic Faith should not be taken lightly. Once you leave, you will no longer be able to receive Communion in a Catholic church. A Greek Orthodox friend of mine told me that can be cause for excommunication from the Orthodox church. So if you leave, you won't be able to receive Communion in your family's church if you're ever there for a Mass. Just some things to think about.

I'm sorry for the very lengthy reply. Only you, guided by the Holy Spirit, can decide what to do. There are many similarities between Orthodox and Eastern Catholic, so I can see why you're wondering which would be better for you. There are some theological differences between the two, but a huge difference is that with one you will still be in union with Rome, and with the other, you will not.

Many prayers for you as you discern what to do!

God Bless.
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.
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>
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.


Yeah I saw his post. Sure wish I knew which church it was and how long ago. On the other hand it wouldn't do much good in knowing I suppose but it really does tick me off.

Seraphim
Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
You ought to be dumbfounded. jet1295, in his earlier post, says his relatives were required to perform this bizarre gesture when they became Orthodox and when he understood it was meant as "spitting" on the Catholic Church; that it meant equating the Catholic Church with Satan, it made him feel great anguish.

By no means do I think this activity is a normal part of the ceremony when Catholics join the Orthodox Church.


Just took a look at his post. The church was Russian. Still blows my mind. I am wondering if it was the real deal or some off the wall group.

Seraphim
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.
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?
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
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.
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!

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.
Akira:

What an eloquent post!

Amado
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Originally Posted by StuartK
Each has its own joys and its own sorrows.


So true...
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.
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
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.
Quote
I realized that in the Orthodox world there too much the claim to be the best


I could make you a quick list of ten things much worse than that. However, if we're going to make a decision on whether or not to join a church (any church), based on whether or not the people in it are highly flawed - all I can say is I hope you would be happy with doing reader's services/typika at home allllll alone.
Originally Posted by AMM
Quote
I realized that in the Orthodox world there too much the claim to be the best


I could make you a quick list of ten things much worse than that. However, if we're going to make a decision on whether or not to join a church (any church), based on whether or not the people in it are highly flawed - all I can say is I hope you would be happy with doing reader's services/typika at home allllll alone.


Thank you !!! (-:

In Christ:
Seraphim
Originally Posted by antv
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.


I could start throwing dirt at the Catholic Church as you did to the Orthodox for what I see as huge problems but I won't out of charity for my brothers and sisters on this forum. None of us are sinless, Orthodox or Catholic.

In the end we are ALL trying to work out our salvation in our respective churches. In addition, at least in my parish I have not experienced any of the negative or prideful ways that you claim Orthodox Christians hold too. And yes I do believe that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church as I hope you believe yours is.

In Christ:
Seraphim
Quote
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.


What a bunch of Pharisaical hooey. Point not to the mote in thy neighbor's eye.
Just becasue this or that may seem pharisaical doesn't mean it isn't a valid consideration needing to be addressed rather than just dismissed. Remember: even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

And it's funny how them specks in the eyes of other people can sometimes be contagious and wind up in the beholder's eye.
Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Originally Posted by antv
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.


I could start throwing dirt at the Catholic Church as you did to the Orthodox for what I see as huge problems but I won't out of charity for my brothers and sisters on this forum. None of us are sinless, Orthodox or Catholic.

In the end we are ALL trying to work out our salvation in our respective churches. In addition, at least in my parish I have not experienced any of the negative or prideful ways that you claim Orthodox Christians hold too. And yes I do believe that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church as I hope you believe yours is.

In Christ:
Seraphim


Honestly I dont agree with your statement: I've always find in the ECC a large and humble attitude, and never a closure to the others.

Look for example to post #2 in this thread by a Melkite: it does not state at all that the only way to get salvation is to convert to ECC!

And I'm not speaking of lack of charity by singles Orthodox brothers/sisters. I know Orthodox who said me with taste and love that all in the Uniate Church is crap (well they used an other pejorative term). The problem did not come from them, which are marvelous souls, but from the propaganda from their Church.

An official propaganda typical of the entities, as Lefebrians Catholics, JWs, some fundamentalists ect, which promote themselves by means of denigrating and slurring the others. That's something I cannot accept.

And I never seen the ECC denigrating and slurring the Orthodox (perhaps they did lots of years ago, but not during my life). That is the reason why I feel more comfortable in the ECC rather than the EOC.
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.


I could start throwing dirt at the Catholic Church as you did to the Orthodox for what I see as huge problems but I won't out of charity for my brothers and sisters on this forum. None of us are sinless, Orthodox or Catholic. 

In the end we are ALL trying to work out our salvation in our respective churches. In addition, at least in my parish I have not experienced any of the negative or prideful ways that you claim Orthodox Christians hold too. And yes I do believe that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church as I hope you believe yours is. 

In Christ:
Seraphim


Honestly I dont agree with your statement: I've always find in the ECC a large and humble attitude, and never a closure to the others.

Look for example to post #2 in this thread by a Melkite: it does not state at all that the only way to get salvation is to convert to ECC!

And I'm not speaking of lack of charity by singles Orthodox brothers/sisters. I know Orthodox who said me with taste and love that all in the Uniate Church is crap (well they used an other pejorative term). The problem did not come from them, which are marvelous souls, but from the propaganda from their Church. 

An official propaganda typical of the entities, as Lefebrians Catholics, JWs, some fundamentalists ect, which promote themselves by means of denigrating and slurring the others. That's something I cannot accept.

And I never seen the ECC denigrating and slurring the Orthodox (perhaps they did lots of years ago, but not during my life). That is the reason why I feel more comfortable in the ECC rather than the EOC.



Edited by antv (Today at 03:06 AM) 
Top


Well I think we will have to agree to disagree. The idea that the Orthodox Church has a propaganda machine to denigrate Catholics is just nuts and comparing us to the groups you mentioned above is out of line and a lie, You have a lot of nerve when you post this kind of rubbish. I apoligize if I have caused any offense but you must realize when you attack another's faith you will reap what you sow.

In Christ:
Seraphim
Seems to me some hostility incompatible with Bright Week has crept into this discussion. I deeply regret anything I have ever said on this forum that might promote hostility.

Look, you can get to DFW airport from Frankfurt, Germany every day. You can take Lufthansa flight # 438 OR you can take American Airlines flight #71. People choose one over the other for various reasons. NB they both arrive close to each other. The experience on both airlines will be different in some respects but the destination is the same; the length of the flight is the same.

At the risk of over-simplification, maybe it's valid to think of choosing to belong either to one of the Greek Catholic Churches or one of the Orthodox Churches like one might think of choosing Lufthansa or American Airlines to get to DFW.
Quote
Seems to me some hostility incompatible with Bright Week has crept into this discussion.


Christ is Risen!!

Actually, the hostility that has crept in here is incompatible with every week and every day if we call ourselves Christians. In addition, it is incompatible with the tone we try to maintain here on this particular forum. If you want to cut each other to shreds, there are lots of fora out there on the net where you can find people who are hostile to people other than those exactly like themselves.

The problem I see, as one outside the house looking in through the window, is that the movements of history have developed a lot of bitterness and hostility among people who share the same patrimony. And that bitterness and hostility seems to be part and parcel of the passing on of the Faith, though it is as far from what Our Lord taught His disciples as Heaven is from the Eternity of Bitterness and Hatred.

Questions like this are bound to cause hackles to go up. One does not choose a Church by comparisons, or by taking a poll, or by listing the faults and strengths of each one. And that seems to be what is going on here. It's far more serious than any of those avenues.

So I think that this topic has exhausted its usefulness and I will lock it.

Bob
Moderator
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