www.byzcath.org
Posted By: Dr. Eric "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 04:56 AM
Here is the conversion story of Ron Dreher. He is best known as "The Crunchy Con." He converted to Orthodoxy:

http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/crunchycon/2006/10/orthodoxy-and-me.html
Very painful reading indeed.
CS
Posted By: Brian Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 05:20 AM
I think of OCA priest Father John Garvey and his article on the Convert mentality of some in Orthodoxy. This is indeed wisdom:


http://www.dneoca.org/articles/typology0197.html
Posted By: AMM Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 01:27 PM
Wow some of those comments (both directed at this person and Orthodoxy in general) are just downright nasty.

Andrew
Quote
Originally posted by Ilian:
Wow some of those comments (both directed at this person and Orthodoxy in general) are just downright nasty.

Andrew
This is something that I fear as I am about to begin the process of converting to Orthodoxy myself. It is difficult but I harbor no ill will toward Roman and Byzantine Catholics. I also do not intend to adopt the attitude some some converts adopt (holier than thou, more orthodox than the orthodox). I don't know much about this person who just converted. I do suspect that people usually carry their general attitude and personality over with them when they convert from one church to another.

I think about my own decision and the possibility that one day, one of my children will come to me and say, "Dad, I have decided to return to the Melkites," or "Dad, I believe in my heart that luther was right and I am becoming an evangelical." I must confess that I will not tell them not to. I will suggest to them all of the things that I think they should consider. But I will respect whatever decision they make as long as it is informed and based on a sound conscience. Peace in Christ,

Joe
Dear Ilian,

Take a browse through orthodox websites, and you'll find the same sort of thing.

Not that tu quoque excuses it.

This is a very well-mannered part of the internet, thanks to the moderators.
Posted By: Amadeus Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 06:13 PM
Does he have a "story" of his 1993 conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism?

It would be interesting to know if his anti-Catholic rhetoric was already nascent at that time.

On the other side, there is an anecdotal account (in a Catholic Forum) of another Protestant converting to Orthodoxy at the same period of time and stayed more than 12 years hopping from one jurisdiction to another. He and his entire family are now in the process of coming home to the Catholic Church, without any rancor or vitriol thrown the way of the Orthodox or Orthodoxy!

The journey of (Fr.) Alvin Kimel (Episcopalian) is of the same vein as the immediately preceding example. The "Pontificator" presented his own conversion to the Catholic Church over Orthodoxy with honor and dignity and with a rational explication from his personal dilemma, without the "I, Me, and Myself" self-centered broadcast characterizing many a convert to the other side of the divide.

Converts do come in all stripes! wink

Amado
Where is Father Alvin Kimel's conversion account to be found, Amado? I recall he used to post here a few years ago prior to conversion. I don't know when the conversion happened.
CS
Posted By: Amadeus Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 07:43 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Communion of Saints:
Where is Father Alvin Kimel's conversion account to be found, Amado? I recall he used to post here a few years ago prior to conversion. I don't know when the conversion happened.
CS
The "Pontificator" converted in July last year (2005), memorializing his journey at:

http://catholica.pontifications.net/?page_id=956

Amado
Posted By: Wondering Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 08:29 PM
It was a long, boring read about his converting because of the sex abuse scandals and some people at his Catholic church not liking his gung-ho attitude (which he does not intend to take with him to Orthodoxy). He says the people were nice to him at the Orthodox church and they felt like they could be little-o orthodox without being criticized, and they could get valid sacraments. He also feels like he has changed teams to another underdog which will require much of his personal effort to restore.

If I were Orthodox, this wouldn't be a conversion story I'd want to be touting. I am hoping that the public story was in response to those issues he thought readers would raise and that there was a personal conversion to the theology and spirituality of the east along with it.

I also thought it pretty not nice the way he went on about the man who brought this to public attention. For Dreher to spend years publicizing and playing off his Catholicism, to not mention for many months that he had officially left Catholicism is dubious, to say the least. He says it is OK because for the last couple months he hasn't explicitly said that he is Catholic. (Hello! You've said it over and over again for years. What will people assume about your affiliation if you aren't saying it has changed?) Plus, other people made public comments about Dreher's Orthodoxy previous to the public "outing" he discussed, and those people say so in his comments box.

I don't have a problem with his converting. I don't think it was worth 5000+ words about the sex scandals and his hatred of the guy who brought it to public attention, though. I do pray that his family have many happy and healthy years, and that they grow to love and serve the Lord ever more in their newly embraced faith.
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 09:18 PM
Thanks for all these links. I had not heard about Rod Dreher's latest conversion but it was interesting to read his rather strained reasoning.

Father Garvey's essay was quite enjoyable and very accurate. It reminded me of a passage in one of my favorite novels, "Maggie-Now" by Betty Smith (author of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"). Maggie's husband doesn't understand how she knows that their next-door neighbor is a convert to the Catholic Church.

Maggie explains that every time they see each other, the neighbor goes on and on about how wonderful Mass was that morning and how much she gets out of receiving the Sacraments and praying the Rosary. "Maybe she just likes to talk about things more than you do," suggests her husband. No, Maggie says, because when the neighbor comes out of her house with wet hair, she just says, "Well, I washed my hair today" and doesn't go on and on about how wonderful it felt to put shampoo on her hair and rinse it out!
Posted By: Alice Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/13/06 10:55 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Pseudo-Athanasius:
Dear Ilian,

Take a browse through orthodox websites, and you'll find the same sort of thing.

Not that tu quoque excuses it.

This is a very well-mannered part of the internet, thanks to the moderators.
Dear Pseudo-Athanasius,

Thanks for the kind words on behalf of myself and my fellow moderators.

It is nice for our hard work to be acknowledged sometimes. smile

In Christ,
Alice, Moderator wink
Posted By: Brian Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 05:39 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Amadeus:

On the other side, there is an anecdotal account (in a Catholic Forum) of another Protestant converting to Orthodoxy at the same period of time and stayed more than 12 years hopping from one jurisdiction to another. He and his entire family are now in the process of coming home to the Catholic Church, without any rancor or vitriol thrown the way of the Orthodox or Orthodoxy!


Amado
So he hopped around from one jurisidiction to another in Orthodoxy before now becoming Catholic??? BEWARE!!
Posted By: The young fogey Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 06:06 AM
What Ilian said. I don't agree with Dreher on some issues but he doesn't talk the church thing into the ground in his blog and definitely doesn't deserve the treatment he's getting in his com-box and some blogs.

'I'm sorry to hear that and hope you come back' is legit. The ad hominems are not.

Wondering's description isn't entirely true IMO. What that person did, 'outing' him, sucks. Dreher has the right to say so and didn't give it more space than it deserved.

I won't get into truth claims.

The man has converted twice, staying in one place over a decade. I'd say that's stable. So it wouldn't be fair to say or adopt a tone of 'What's he converted to now? How long's this gonna last?'

Good point, Brian, but at least this person isn't being a pillock about it now. (Nor is Dreher IMO.)
Posted By: Michael_Thoma Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 07:14 AM
I don't find Mr. Dreher's conversion difficult at all, his decision is between God, himself and his family and here's blessings and prayers for him to be a righteous man and journalist.

Thank God for his reporting of abuse that certain bishops hid and pretended not to know about. Hopefully he will not be any less vigourous at his new spiritual home.

As an Eastern Catholic I find myself always straddling four toes in Orthodoxy and a foot+2toes in Catholicism. I can appreciate both, but if the Spirit leads me toward Syriac Orthodoxy, thanks be to God - if I am to remain Malankara Catholic, thanks be to God. If both Churches solve their separations, many thanks be to God.

I didn't see much vitriol from Mr. Dreher's blog, infact with the things he knew and hoops some bishops made him jump through to preserve their power, hides, and money it is a blessing Mr. Dreher had any faith left in any Church at all. I hope he finds what he needs, and that he is still writing his thoughts however controversial.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 10:50 AM
Looks like the article was removed.

I will only say from my own personal experience that what Ron experienced at St. Seraphim's has been completely consistent with every encounter I have had an an Orthodox Church. That kind of ethos has a certain draw for many of us here, and were I not convinced in conscience of papal primacy and the need for it even within a eucharistic eclesiology, I would be communing with Ron and the rest of my Orthodox friends here on this forum.

With that said, my family and I very much love the Eastern Catholic Church we now attend, and have experienced much of the same earthy/heavenly goodness.

I will only add that scandal is never a reason to "convert", if such a thing can be said of moving from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. (The label "conversion" is more appropriately applied, sans any ritual, to those who move from liberal Catholicism to orthodox Catholicism, as the distance between the two is far greater than the distance between orthodox Catholicism and Orthodoxy, IMHO.)

And we Catholics will never be able to fully come to terms with the depths, the heights and nature of this scandal. And it has affected us in many and various ways - some very close to home. As the father of three, if ever I knew that I priest had abused one of my cherished treasures, I doubt I could restrain myself physically, canons be damned, and I am not a violent man by nature. It is the nature of fatherhood to protect, not to exploit. I certainly understand Ron's feelings on this, and am glad for him that he is at peace, even if I do not fully embrace his position.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 12:13 PM
I was able to bring up the article, and here is an excerpt from it:

Quote
"Orthodoxy and me"
by Rod Dreher

I apologize for this very long post, but it's time to clear something up: yes, I am now a communicant of the Orthodox Church, and have been (along with my family) for a couple of months.

I did not intend to make this public until the end of this month, to honor a personal and professional obligation that, the violation of which stood to hurt some innocent people. This is why I've taken care since the day I entered Orthodoxy not to claim I am Catholic in writings here, and not to rise to the bait of certain people in the comboxes who have demanded that I declare myself. Though I've wanted to get this out there, and not to deceive readers, I had an obligation to keep this to myself until month's end, for an important reason I can't really discuss. But now I am forced to reveal all early. Why? Because a certain malicious reader, a perfect stranger and petty little Catholic Prufrock named Jonathan Carpenter, who is unhealthily preoccupied with me nearly to the point of cyberstalking, troubled himself to write a letter to a priest at my parish asking about my ecclesial affiliation -- and when he received his answer, undertook to publicize it.

So, here we are. I apologize to readers who feel deceived or betrayed.

That was not my intent; my intent was to honor a prior obligation, whose terms were soon to end anyway. I only now have to give you the long explanation two weeks early. What follows will be lengthy, but it will be all I intend to say about this matter. I know that the comboxes will be filled with discussion, much of it spiteful and vitriolic, and that there's nothing I can do about that, except refuse to join it. But here is how I ended up where I am today.

[. . .]

See, this is why you won't see me ballyhoo my conversion to Orthodoxy as I did with my conversion to Catholicism. Partly it's because I still consider myself to be among the spiritually walking wounded. I need to build myself up in Christ, and in ordinary Christian piety. I believe that God rescued me from a pit partly of my own making by showing me Orthodoxy, and through the witness of the people of St. Seraphim's parish. I have to laugh when well-meaning people say, "Well, Rod's still looking for the perfect church, I wonder what's going to become of him when he figures out that the Orthodox Church is screwed up too." Shoot, the Orthodox Church in America is neck-deep in a financial scandal at its pinnacle! Don't they think I see that? I am perfectly aware that sexual sin and the temptation to cover it up or deny it exists in every human institution. I do not imagine that I have escaped that in Orthodoxy. I am incapable of being the kind of gung-ho Orthodox as I was a gung-ho Catholic. I've learned my lesson. What I do have in Orthodoxy, though, is a second chance to get it right. To receive the Sacraments as an aid to theosis, and to learn to love the little platoon around me, building up the community and my own family. Had I started out this way as a Catholic, maybe it wouldn't have come to this. But I did, and here I am, and God is merciful.

I don't want in any way for this to come across as an apology for entering Orthodoxy. I am not ashamed of it, and indeed I am grateful for God having provided for me and my family, lost and drifting as we were. Still, I think my feelings must be like that of an exile who had to leave his native land, and who is grateful for his new country but who will never be able to forget whence he came -- nor does he want to. I grieve having disappointed friends, and no doubt many of you, who have been so kind to me over the years with your prayers and encouragement. I can't expect you Catholics to endorse my move, but I hope at least you will pray for me and my family, and with me for the ultimate unity of Orthodoxy and Catholicism (by the way, I took as my patron saint in Orthodoxy Benedict of Nursia, who as a pre-schism saint is also revered by the Orthodox; I also chose him in part to honor Pope Benedict, whom I cherish). I hope also that my own example will encourage others -- Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant -- to look seriously into their hearts, and detach themselves from both idolizing the Church in the place of Christ -- this is partly what led to the Scandal, and partly what led me to put myself in a position where the Scandal destroyed my Catholicism. And I hope my example helps people to deal swiftly with anger before it masters them.

As far as tradition goes, I have moved with my family to a church that I believe stands a much better chance of maintaining the historic Christian deposit of faith over time. To be more blunt, I have moved to a church that in my judgment within which I and my family and my descendants will be better able to withstand modernity. Basically, though -- and this is as blunt as I can be -- I'm in a church where I can trust the spiritual headship of the clergy, and where most people want to know more about the faith, and how we can conform our lives to it, rather than wanting to run away from it or hide it so nobody has to be offended.

In the end, we all depend on the mercy of God to deliver us from our faults and errors. I have no intention of talking about this conversion further, either on the comboxes or this blog. (Nor, by the way, do I intend to avoid critical comments about any church; I am an opinion journalist.) I owe it to my family, and to my God, to avoid the nasty combox polemics that will inevitably follow this revelation. I can't keep any of you from saying whatever you will -- and no doubt, the Jonathan Carpenters of the world will have their day. I'm a public person, so I have to put up with that. Still, those of you more charitably inclined, please just pray for me and my family, that we always live in truth, and do the right thing, and be found pleasing to God, the Father of us all.

posted by Crunchy Con @ 10:27 AM [beliefnet.com] | Comments (319) [haloscan.com]
Posted By: ebed melech Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 12:37 PM
I found this on the site Todd posted:

Statement of Bishop Dimitri [pokrov.org]

Quote
I am puzzled by some statements made recently by participants n the conference of Roman Catholic bishops concerning the problem of what to do with priests who are guilty of sexual abuses, homosexual and other behavior. Some have seemed hesitant to adopt the "zero tolerance" policy advocated by others, calling for mercy on those guilty of only one offense.

It would seem natural and prudent that they consult the Church's canons -- these still held in common with the Orthodox Church, the Apostolic Canons -- which are clear enough: Those guilty of such sins and crimes can repent, even be restored to communion with the Church. But continue as priests? Never. They are to be deposed, for their own sake, and for the sake of those who trust the clergy as having a responsibility for guiding others to salvation.

Offering forgiveness and mercy is not inconsistent with proper discipline and maintaining order within the Body of Christ. The age-old canons of the Church are based on Scripture, and they exist, in part, to prevent the kind of confusion that seems to be revolving around this particular issue at this time

Archbishop Dmitri

Archbishop of Dallas and the South
Orthodox Church in America
He is absolutely right - there should be no shock at "no tolerance".

Gordo
I asked Father Anthony (moderator) if the active thread could also include the October 13th 'postscript letter' written by Dreher which is presently in the 'new' but closed/switched thread.
Amazingly, Dreher said he didn't read over his original post of the 12th prior to posting it and wanted to write the additional explanations on the 13th.
CS
Posted By: Fr. Jim Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 04:24 PM
Ron Dreher Part II for Communion of Saints "CS"
Clarifying
That post I put up about my conversion to Orthodoxy was not only the longest post ever, but it has attracted the most number of comments. I wrote the post in one two-hour stretch, and posted it without re-reading it. So there are some things I want to make clear that might not have been from the long, rambly opus.

1. I am not now nor do I have any intention of being an embittered ex-Catholic. Quite to the contrary, after I got out from under the burden of feeling responsible in some way for the Scandal -- that is, for fighting it -- I was able to reacquaint myself with the great things about Catholicism. I literally pray for the Pope daily, and for the Church, and can now better see the Catholic Church in her totality. My preoccupation with the Scandal, the filth and the extreme injustice the institutional Church visited upon children and families hid that from me. I freely confess, because I deeply believe, that there is great truth, beauty and holiness in the Roman Catholic Church. You won't find a Catholic-basher in me (though I will continue to be critical where warranted, in my role as an opinion journalist; it's just not personal anymore).

2. I don't deny that reason played a minor role in my conversion. It was primarily emotional and psychological -- but I do deny that that minimizes matters. As I've said, a decade ago, I argued with a friend considering Orthodoxy and Catholicism that all that mattered was doctrinal truth. He said he worried about raising Christian kids in the mess that is US Catholic parish life. I dismissed those concerns, and said he should instead concentrate on the doctrinal arguments. Well, real life -- and having kids of my own -- showed me how brittle that position was, and is. Human beings are not machines. We all have to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, between radical objectivity and radical subjectivity. I used to think that being a Christian was merely a matter of finding the most logical arguments, intellectually assenting to them and doing your best to live by them. It is far more complicated than that, and I found through the scandal my intellect humiliated. A dear friend of mine used to be Orthodox, but left in his teenage years because he desperately needed Christ, and the only experience of Orthodoxy he had was in his family's spiritually dead Greek parish. He is now a passionate Evangelical. I used to think he was fooling himself. I still couldn't take the path he chose. But I understand why he chose it, and have no interest in judging him, only helping him to be as faithful to Christ as he can be.
Posted By: AMM Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 07:41 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Pseudo-Athanasius:
Take a browse through orthodox websites, and you'll find the same sort of thing.

Not that tu quoque excuses it.
This thread is not about other sites though, it is about the blog owner in question's decision to become Orthodox. Consider this quote that appeared in the comments

Quote
Return to the One True Church. The Catholic Church for Salvation. There is no salvation for you in the so called "Orthodox" Church. Your "conversion" is phoney. A real convert would argue he joined the Orthodox because he found it to be true & would try to pursuade others to embrace that truth. I don't see any of that here so I beg you for the sake of your immortal soul. Come home brother.
Not only is this person denigrating the Orthodox Church with his comments, he is suggesting that one who converts to Orthodoxy puts their soul in peril. That is a profound statement of disrespect, and something I have never heard an Orthodox person say to someone who decided to convert to Catholicism. IIRC, someone who posted here recenty heard something similar from a Roman Rite priest.

Andrew
Posted By: andrasi Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/14/06 11:00 PM
I found Mr Dreher's post to be quite heartfelt and not the least bit boring. I was almost brought to tears as I realized much of his story was my story. I loved my church with all my heart. I happened to make some similar discoveries regarding clergy and 'reported them' to the bishop as well. The lies, denial and character assassination that followed created deep spiritual wounds within me.
I did not convert to Catholicism- I was a cradle Catholic, active in many ministies, rarely missing a Sunday of Holy Day.

The public clergy scandal and events of 9/11 changed something deep within me. I couldn't explain it, even to myself. I just knew I had to get out to preserve what was left of my soul. I left my church and attended no church for several years. By chance I happened upon a small Orthodox church filled with mostly converts from Protestantism.What a difference in the character of the parish. I was immediately welcomed. They were alive in their Faith and I knew it.

I felt a burden was lifted from me, the pain I lived with faded and I am increasingly filled with peace. I cannot receive the Eucharist but I can accept that for now, as I feel God has led me to this place. It doesn't matter anymore that I am not 'under the Pope'. I can pray to my God with others who love him in a way I love Him. I can be nourished again. I know I will never return to the church of my grandfathers, but perhaps Orthodoxy was the church of my ancestors all along.
I understand Mr Drehers pain because I have lived a part of it. I hope he finds the peace that I have found and I wish him well.
Posted By: Alice Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/15/06 12:24 PM
Dear Andrew and Pseudo-Athanasius,

Let's not get into polemics. Offensive remarks about the other are not exclusive to either Roman Catholics or Orthodox.

Thank you.

In Christ,
Alice, Moderator
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/15/06 02:40 PM
I would like to write that just because some Ultramontanist thinks the Orthodox are all damned doesn't mean that that is the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

The persons who wrote such things are ignorant. No one knows the state of Mr. Dreher's soul except God Himself, and to judge another person's soul breaks the First Commandment. By their fruits do we know others, we can only judge actions not Eternal Destinies. Besides that, the Orthodox Church has the same Sacraments (Mysteries) as the Catholic Church so if he did commit any sins they would be forgiven in Holy Confession!

I apologize to any Orthodox Christian who may have been offended by uninformed remarks by my fellow Catholics. (If I can do so.)
No matter who you are, if you are converting from one faith to another; or even one Church to another; or one denomination to another; there are going to be people who are upset. There is no way to do it without hurting or offending someone. What we converts must do is to convert with as much humility, love, and graciousness as we can muster. I think it helps when we, who are about to make a transition, feel not only enthusiasm, but a bit of pain and sadness as well. That is certainly what I am feeling right now; deep sorrow.

In the end, we must all respect the conscience of one another. I am convinced that there is no self-evident answer to the question,"Where is the true faith? Where is the true Church?" I personally see how one can convert from one to the other in either direction and I find it difficult to believe that God really cares. But I do think that God does care about whether we love one another as Jesus has loved us. I am glad that this thread was started and that I was able to read Mr. Dreher's articles on his blog. Perhaps, the biggest step toward unity between our two Churches would be to truly respect the consciences of all our members and give people the freedom to make their own, well-informed decisions. As I said earlier, if my wife and children don't come with me, or if my children decide to return to the Catholic Church, then they have my blessing. I want them to do what their conscience tells them is their duty. Indeed, if my children were to become buddhists or jews, thoughtfull and out of duty, then they would have my blessing. If I expect to be treated with dignity because of the decisions I make, then I must respect the conscience-bound decisions of others. Notice though; I said "conscience-bound." I am not advocating approving everything everyone does. For example, I seriously doubt that anyone, out of conscience, gets an abortion, becomes a pimp, or becomes a thief (Robin Hood excepting).

And just remember, that no matter who you are and what you believe, there are one or more contingents of people in this world who think you are going to hell. You can't please everyone, even if you are Mother Theresa. Peace in Christ,

Joe
Posted By: ebed melech Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/16/06 11:59 AM
Quote
Originally posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy:
I want them to do what their conscience tells them is their duty. Indeed, if my children were to become buddhists or jews, thoughtfull and out of duty, then they would have my blessing.
Hmmm...but what about the truth? It is one thing to love them unconditionally (which sometimes includes "tough love") it is quite another to offer a "blessing" as their father for apostasy.

Maybe I am reading more into this than you intended, but as a father I could not "bless" what I believed to be a "curse". I would see it as a violation of my priestly service to my family.

Gordo
Quote
Originally posted by ebed melech:
Quote
Originally posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy:
[b] I want them to do what their conscience tells them is their duty. Indeed, if my children were to become buddhists or jews, thoughtfull and out of duty, then they would have my blessing.
Hmmm...but what about the truth? It is one thing to love them unconditionally (which sometimes includes "tough love") it is quite another to offer a "blessing" as their father for apostasy.

Maybe I am reading more into this than you intended, but as a father I could not "bless" what I believed to be a "curse". I would see it as a violation of my priestly service to my family.

Gordo [/b]
Gordo,

I might not be pleased that they were taking a step that led them further away from the Orthodox faith. But, in the end, one must obey one's conscience. It would actually do them no good to remain Catholic or Orthodox against their consciences (I know that seems absurd to us, but I don't think that it is impossible that one could come to such a conclusion in good faith). They would have my blessing not so much to become buddhists, jews, etc. but to act reasonably and in good faith. Peace in Christ,

Joe
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/16/06 07:18 PM
If Dreher has found a home on Orthodoxy, then I say more power to him. We can only follow the path that God has lit up ahead of us, and maybe that's where God wants him to be right now.

However, my quibble would be this: I would not leave the Catholic Church because of the corrupt priests and bishops Dreher so rightly condemns - I would insist that those priests and bishops leave instead!
Quote
Originally posted by Theist Gal:
If Dreher has found a home on Orthodoxy, then I say more power to him. We can only follow the path that God has lit up ahead of us, and maybe that's where God wants him to be right now.

However, my quibble would be this: I would not leave the Catholic Church because of the corrupt priests and bishops Dreher so rightly condemns - I would insist that those priests and bishops leave instead!
Theist Gal, I like your way of thinking wink . And I agree with you, one should become Catholic or Orthodox only out of a conviction of what is the truth, not because one is unhappy with particular individuals in the church. Peace in Christ,
Joe
Posted By: andrasi Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/16/06 08:42 PM
Quote
However, my quibble would be this: I would not leave the Catholic Church because of the corrupt priests and bishops Dreher so rightly condemns - I would insist that those priests and bishops leave instead!
Theist Gal,
Easier said than done, unfortunately. They aren't going anywhere as long as they continue to protect each other and pacify us with forked-tongue. Its easier for them to get rid of you than the other way arund. They after all are the leadership, you a body in a pew.
Posted By: indigo Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/19/06 12:15 AM
Hi,
I've been following the posts re Dreher's conversion (449!) ,well, not every single one, and there's been a real change in the tenor of posts; seems people of mature faith are finally posting and their words are so beautiful and inspiring (even if you don't believe some of their insistence that only their faith is true). Please go read the last 10 or 15. Particularly Alan King, and Lee.

http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/crunchycon/2006/10/orthodoxy-and-me.html

Peace,
Indigo
Posted By: indigo Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/19/06 12:18 AM
Also, reading these posts makes me so appreciative of the moderators here. Some of the posts on Dreher's blog are truly vicious. The air here is so much healthier.
Posted By: harmon3110 Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/19/06 04:21 PM
Quote
Originally posted by The young fogey:
What Ilian said. I don't agree with Dreher on some issues but he doesn't talk the church thing into the ground in his blog and definitely doesn't deserve the treatment he's getting in his com-box and some blogs.

'I'm sorry to hear that and hope you come back' is legit. The ad hominems are not.

Wondering's description isn't entirely true IMO. What that person did, 'outing' him, sucks. Dreher has the right to say so and didn't give it more space than it deserved.

I won't get into truth claims.

The man has converted twice, staying in one place over a decade. I'd say that's stable. So it wouldn't be fair to say or adopt a tone of 'What's he converted to now? How long's this gonna last?'

Ditto. I found Mr. Dreher's account to be lengthy but interesting. I respect him for following the courage of his conscience.

Mostly, I note his tone of repentance. He confessed to being a "gung-ho" over-enthusiastic Catholic, more a "professional Catholic" than anything else. So, as he wrote, he partly set himself up for a fall. And then, as he wrote (emphasis added by me):

Quote
I believe that God rescued me from a pit partly of my own making by showing me Orthodoxy, and through the witness of the people of St. Seraphim's parish. I have to laugh when well-meaning people say, "Well, Rod's still looking for the perfect church, I wonder what's going to become of him when he figures out that the Orthodox Church is screwed up too." Shoot, the Orthodox Church in America is neck-deep in a financial scandal at its pinnacle! Don't they think I see that? I am perfectly aware that sexual sin and the temptation to cover it up or deny it exists in every human institution. I do not imagine that I have escaped that in Orthodoxy. I am incapable of being the kind of gung-ho Orthodox as I was a gung-ho Catholic. I've learned my lesson. What I do have in Orthodoxy, though, is a second chance to get it right. To receive the Sacraments as an aid to theosis, and to learn to love the little platoon around me, building up the community and my own family. Had I started out this way as a Catholic, maybe it wouldn't have come to this. But I did, and here I am, and God is merciful.
It's sad that he couldn't find that second chance within the Catholic Church. It's there, for the asking. But, I'm glad that he found his way to God; and I hope it works out for him.

-- John
Posted By: Bob_Gard Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/22/06 10:31 PM
I did not find Rob's conversion story too convincing, but one point that I can sympathize with him is being drawn to a 'family,' atmosphere. Speaking as a former evangelical that is a pretty big thing, and one that I have missed since coming back to the Catholic Church (even though when I came back it was in favor of the Byzantine church instead of the Roman Church of my youth). Since our return to the BC I have found much that has changed in that regard. I have tried to come up with things to do, but it doesn't get very far & is a source of frustration. Indeed, I just commented on to my wife on the way home from liturgy that aside from the liturgy & mostly good homilies where we go isn't a good 'spiritual home.' Does anyone know of a good Byzantine parish in the Pittsburgh area that offers more than just the liturgy?
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria Re: "Orthodoxy and Me" by Ron Dreher - 10/23/06 05:06 AM
Ron's story is almost my own. I went through the same journey. I contacted Bishops and tried to reason with them. They wouldn't believe me.

Finally, I had to do what was best for my family as my son who was nine at the time was scared to death of Roman Catholic Priests. He wore double underwear to church, prayed, took Karate lessons, and then one day ran away from home early one morning while we slept. When he came home, he told me that we had to find a church where the priests were married. I was faced with having him lose his faith or converting to Orthodoxy. My husband was very upset as he wanted to remain Catholic, but once he met the Orthodox Priest, his fears were allayed.

In our process of conversion to Orthodoxy, we had to make many changes which required a deep metanoia. Ultimately, the Ekklesia saved our marriage and our son's faith. For that reason, I am deeply grateful. Yes, at first we were running away like scared kittens, but then we found that we were running into the arms of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.

The Orthodox Priest would not receive us by Chrismation until he felt that we had put on Christ. We had to ask forgiveness of all the Catholic Priests that we had offended in our move. Furthermore, we could not harbor any hatred of the Roman Catholic Church because the Orthodox Church is the Holy Catholic Church.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory forever.
Quote
I think about my own decision and the possibility that one day, one of my children will come to me and say, "Dad, I have decided to return to the Melkites," or "Dad, I believe in my heart that luther was right and I am becoming an evangelical." I must confess that I will not tell them not to. I will suggest to them all of the things that I think they should consider. But I will respect whatever decision they make as long as it is informed and based on a sound conscience. Peace in Christ
How can anyone put luther and melkite together in the same sentence. These are apples and oranges. No orthodox was ever able to respect the Lutherans..

Theres a billion reasons to tell your child not to become a lutheran!!!

What am I on the protestant forum!

Do any orthodox here really lump together protestants and catholics as all in the same boat? all western wackos?

(I'll concede some high anglicanism does have apostolic succession to my knowledge)
Quote
Originally posted by Criostoir McAvoy:
Quote
I think about my own decision and the possibility that one day, one of my children will come to me and say, "Dad, I have decided to return to the Melkites," or "Dad, I believe in my heart that luther was right and I am becoming an evangelical." I must confess that I will not tell them not to. I will suggest to them all of the things that I think they should consider. But I will respect whatever decision they make as long as it is informed and based on a sound conscience. Peace in Christ
How can anyone put luther and melkite together in the same sentence. These are apples and oranges. No orthodox was ever able to respect the Lutherans..

Theres a billion reasons to tell your child not to become a lutheran!!!

What am I on the protestant forum!

Do any orthodox here really lump together protestants and catholics as all in the same boat? all western wackos?

(I'll concede some high anglicanism does have apostolic succession to my knowledge)
I think you missed the point of what I was saying. In all honestly, I think it is highly unlikely that either of my children will ever have the slightest inclination to become lutheran. The point was that just as I expect people to respect my conscience, so I must respect the conscience of other people, even when I disagree with the decision they are making. Is it really self evident what the truth is in matters of religion? I don't think so. I think that even getting close to the truth is hard work. I can see all kinds of reasons why someone might think the lutheran confessions are the best expression of Christianity. And I mean reasons based on good faith, not rationalizations or excuses. I may no longer believe that the pope is infallible, but one thing I do know is that I am definitely not infallible. Peace in Christ,

Joe
Quote
Originally posted by Elizabeth Maria:
Ron's story is almost my own. I went through the same journey. I contacted Bishops and tried to reason with them. They wouldn't believe me.

Finally, I had to do what was best for my family as my son who was nine at the time was scared to death of Roman Catholic Priests. He wore double underwear to church, prayed, took Karate lessons, and then one day ran away from home early one morning while we slept. When he came home, he told me that we had to find a church where the priests were married. I was faced with having him lose his faith or converting to Orthodoxy. My husband was very upset as he wanted to remain Catholic, but once he met the Orthodox Priest, his fears were allayed.

In our process of conversion to Orthodoxy, we had to make many changes which required a deep metanoia. Ultimately, the Ekklesia saved our marriage and our son's faith. For that reason, I am deeply grateful. Yes, at first we were running away like scared kittens, but then we found that we were running into the arms of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.

The Orthodox Priest would not receive us by Chrismation until he felt that we had put on Christ. We had to ask forgiveness of all the Catholic Priests that we had offended in our move. Furthermore, we could not harbor any hatred of the Roman Catholic Church because the Orthodox Church is the Holy Catholic Church.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory forever.
my new priest wanted to make sure that I was converting to the Orthodox church for the right reasons as well. That is something I greatly admire about him. He wanted to make sure I was not converting simply because I was angry with the Catholic Church. I am converting to Orthodoxy because my conscience tells me that it is the true faith without distortion. Peace in Christ,

Joe
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