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I am having a real crises of faith and wish to get advice on which path to follow?
Although christened an RC in infancy, I joined the Orthodox Church back in 2000. I was re baptized in a ROCOR parish after having expressed a desire to join the Church. However after a couple years, due to a number of factors (the least of which was family pressure and RC proselytes) I re entered the Roman Catholic Church. At first I had a desire to transfer to the Byzantine rite, but this was quickly dispelled when I became interested in the Catholic traditionalist (Latin Ma's) movement. Since I have poor vision and therefore cannot drive, I was not able to attend a Latin mass until the end of 2008 and so I just sort of supported traditional Catholicism without actually going to a TLM. When I finally id, it turned out to be a huge disappointment for me and I had many, many problems as a result of my brief participation with it.

I then started having a real spiritual crises considering I had such high hopes for about 7 years in something that I later left disillusioned. Then it occurred to me that, since the Latin rite, wasn't for me then maybe it would be best that I "go East"and try to get back to the Byzantine rite.

However, I then began to seriously re examine the beliefs and practices of the Roman Church and began to have doubts about the authenticity and apostolic claims that the Pope and the RCC makes. It has occurred to me that maybe I should re enter the Orthodox Church. Does anyone know how I would go about this? Would I just go to confession to an Orthodox priest and be brought back into the fold of Orthodoxy? Someone told me that the Orthodox would actually have to rechrismate me? Is this true? Also, I am aware that I could get confession/re chrismation from ay priest but what jurisdiction would I enter when returning to orthodoxy, ROCOR or that of the priest/parish I'm attending?

I've had it really hard lately with both my family and friends when I sort of implied that I might want to become Orthodox again. I was for several years a member of the Internet message board, Fish Eaters Forum? When I recently became somewhat critical of some of the commonly unquestioned (on their anyway) Papal claims and scholastic theology, I was brutally attacked by many of the members who had once been my friends. Some Fishies even went so far as to claim that the Orthodox were not just schismatic from RC eyes but also heretical since Orthodoxy permits divorce and remarriage and does not recognize the new dogmas like the IC as valid. They told me that I would be damned if I left the RC and went OC again. Then they banned me eventually when I questioned how so many of them could claim I needed to be in union and submission to the Pope when many of them are associated with the SSPX who are not in union or submission to him.

I am confused as to what course I should take? Should I leave the RC and try and go BC? Or should I go back to the OC?

Bob

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Being totally honest -----------

none of us can suggest where you should go .

This is something you have to discern for yourself after much prayer and deliberation .

You would also be wise to talk with [ note I use 'with ' not 'to' ] priests of both East and West .

Prayers for you on this journey


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Bob-

What a broken body we are. I'm so sorry for the experience you had with some individuals on the Fish Eaters Forum. Thank you for you trust in coming here. I hope it will be well placed with us.

I see in your profile, which may be old, that you say you're an "Ex college student". I do not in any way want to diminish your plight, but if you are still in your 20s know how many of us have gone through major spiritual shifts and crises as still young adults. As difficult as this uncertainty is your path is one day at a time and trying to push for a resolution may not be helpful. (Sounds like you already have lots of pushing going on from those in your life who love and care for you, but can't always know what God means for you.)

I believe we have a ECC deacon here who is in Kansas. I'm know it's a big state but perhaps you two can connect. I'm heading now to Divine Liturgy and will hold you in my prayers there tonight.

During this difficult time I hope you can find a way to receive Reconciliation, as needed, and Eucharist as often as you can. We know the graces these offer us. Both the Catholic and Orthodox recognize as valid our sacraments so while you struggle with your discernment I hope you won't deprive yourself of these most precious gifts.

-Marylouise

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Your post suggests that you are trying to decide where you should go. Forget about that. Stop Church hopping. For now grow where you are planted. Find a good spiritual father or mother. Learn how to pray and spend time in prayer. Eventually the Lord will lead. He will lead according to His plan in His time - never yours. Make all decisions in prayer in consultation with your spiritual father or mother.

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Perhaps you are right about waiting for God to show me the right path to go on. I would like to start out attending a Byzantine Catholic parish. Right now I'm in New Jersey and there are several options for that right around the corner from me. I am seriously thinking about attending a DL at either a Ukrainian parish or a Romanian one (the latter is very small so mabye I would have a better chance of discussing my problems with the priest who might not be too busy considering the number of his small flock.

There is also a Romanian Orthodox parish near the Greek Catholic one that I could stop by one Sunday. It is wonderful that I am able to experience these riches of Eastern liturgical traditions here in NJ. When I'm in Kansas part of the year, there are so few Eastern options and none near me. I'm stuck attending some pretty liberal RC parishes which can really get me down at times.

Thank you all for your advice and prayers.

Bob

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Bob:
start by simply accepting where you are able to attend... be that Catholic or Orthodox, Western or Eastern. Pray, and find some stillness if you can.

If you truly are called to be elsewhere, you will eventually figure it out.

Most important, however, is to participate wherever you may be with whatever zezt you can manage, and raise your heart, soul, and voice to the Lord.


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Our administrator is absolutely correct. When I was young in my faith, I tried to force the hand of God and be totally reliant on my abilities to do this or that. My pride and lack of humility usually resulted in failure and disappointment. It is impossible for us to allow our Lord to guide our lives if we frustrate His Holy Spirit with our own wills. This was the fate of the rich young man who wished to follow Jesus as His disciple but could not because he was unwilling to give all that he had. We don't know what happened to him after his meeting with our Lord. Perhaps he thought better of his overblown pride and later fell of at the feet of Jesus to repent. Or perhaps he went on to try to find another prophet who cold better meet his needs to remain in the world. We will never know in this lifetime.

People have a habit of trying to find the best parish, the best priest, the best environment to worship in and can never be satisfied. Many fall away because of this. The essential reason why we worship together is to be in communion with our Risen Savior and with each other. I think it a beautiful thing that in the Church of the East worship is not dependent on the flair and charisma of a priest, but the oneness of worship through the sacrament.

As we grow, we will experiences many twists and turns in our faith journey. At times we may be disappointed with flaws of clergy and laity, but part of this journey is to not be influenced negatively by the failings, but to grow in the faithfulness and truth of Jesus Christ.

Just my thoughts

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bravo biggrin

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Bob as a somtime member of the fish eaters forum(wich I have never been active on) I want to apologize and I want you to know that the majority of people on that forum are probably sschismatic and heretical themselves and may the Lord and His Blessed Mother guide you on your journey smile


In Jesus and Mary

David

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David

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I want you to know that the majority of people on that forum are probably sschismatic and heretical themselves

Please be careful in your use of the word I bolded . It is not your place to describe anyone as that .

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"Please be careful in your use of the word I bolded . It is not your place to describe anyone as that ."

Justify that statement in light of Church history, please.

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A few comments:

1. I'd like for all posters to try to keep on topic. IMHO Robert seems to be mostly ignoring the advice he has asked for.

2. Angela is correct if she is saying that only a bishop may pronounce someone a heretic. Stuart is also correct in that every member of the Church has the responsibility to defend its theology. We should not use the term 'heretic' lightly. Even if it would be used legitimately to describe a particular theology it usually sheds more heat then light upon a topic. It is much better simply to offer a correct theology and point out the problems with what was offered.

I'll consider the comments on heretics closed in this thread, and ask those who wish to discuss Robert's initial questions.

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I don't think that I am ignoring the advice given me. My initial question alos had to do with how the Orthodox would recieve me back into their Church if I were to decide to retunr. I am willing to seriously pray and reflect on whether to go Byzantine or Orthodox. However I am definitly notwanting to stay in the Roman rite.

People have given me advice to consult different priest and that is what I'm planning to do. I've already talked to some RC clergy and they pretty much confirmed what I thought. The RC wants everyone to be RC so you are not going to get too much of an unbiased opinion from them. I can't stand going Roman. My soul feels so empty at their masses (regardless of what form its in). The only time that my soul ever found any type of peace at Church was with the riches of the Eastern DL. I payed over a $100 cab fee to get to an Eastern Church for DL in the past which shows how much it meant to me.

Life is too short to just stay someplace your unhappy and spiritually unfulfilled in.

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Originally Posted by Robert K.
Life is too short to just stay someplace your unhappy and spiritually unfulfilled in.
Very true!

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Yea it is. I mean one could use the excuse to just stay where you are and wait for God to show you the way for just about anything. Should someone stay in a bad marriage and just hope that God will somehow change the condition of their spouse? Or if I were stuck in the middle of a desert, should I just sit there and wait for God to get me out or should I try and do my best to walk out to greener pastures?

Sometimes we just have to take the lead in doing something about the bad state our life is in. Mabye this is what God wants us/me to do? I can't say for sure but I can always try to find what I need to sustain me in life.

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