Why Eastern Orthodoxy?

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holdencaulfield

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Hello,

This question is directed at Eastern Orthodox converts. Why did you convert to Eastern Orthodoxy and not Roman Catholicism? I’m not trying to start an argument, I really would like to know.
 
Sorry, forgive me, I’m not EO but, I can probably answer this question with one word…Pope.
 
Sorry, forgive me, I’m not EO but, I can probably answer this question with one word…Pope.
Why would that turn them away from the Church, the Pope is obviously the successor to the Church? I’m not talking about in the Great Schism occurred, I’m talking about modern day converts.
 
I have friends who have left their unchurched upbringing or their fundamentalist upbringing and stopped short of coming home.

Four of them have taken that extra step (I am the director of an RCIA program) and have admitted that the stumbling block was getting over that ol’ Protestant shibboleth: the Bishop of Rome.

Two are still haunting a Greek Orthodox parish in Sacramento and God bless them if they make it their home.

I think jam070 is spot on: it is the Pope.

Robert
 
Personally I have no gripe with the Pope. But I cannot reasonably reconcile the Catholic Church of the first 1000 years with the ultramontanist views of the Roman Catholic Church.

What “would be” Roman Catholic apologists do is isolate quotes from the Fathers that seem to support the papacy. Then they create pragmatic reasons for the papacy. Then using those isolated quotes and their pragmatic reasons, they create a new doctrine never believed before and retroactively ascribe these beliefs to the Church as something “implicitly” believed. But that method is pure speculation. In the meantime, Rome demands that every other orthodox christian in the world accept something (which, by the way is speculation) as De Fide that is foreign to their faith and contrary to the canons of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils under pain of anathema.
 
It is easy to say the Pope is the problem, but that is certainly not true for most going from Rome to Orthodoxy. I would say it is a combination of many things that don’t seem to add up. For those former Greek Catholics, it is a lack of connection to the patrimony. This includes restrictions placed by Rome and revised liturgies. The pope usually becomes a problem for others for one reason: Papal Infallibility. Whether one admits it or not, there is very little evidence for such a doctrine. Early councils of bishops decided doctrine, not the Pope through an ex cathedra statement. I think that many Protestants sincerely consider Rome, but go to Orthodoxy because it is unique. They have been Roman before, just not Catholic, as her children. The East presents a fresh start for them and a new perspective. Others go to Rome because the East is so foreign and strange…Just my take on it.

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:
 
I don’t get it though. What’s wrong with that?
Nothing for me and other Catholics (of the various Rites and Uses).

But for our Orthodox brethren and sisteren (I always wanted to write that!), it’s THE stumbling block.

Robert
 
I was first attracted by apophatic theology: it immediately made sense.

The more I read, the more questions (e.g. original sin, etc) that wre problematic in the Protestant-Latin context, were answered.

Going to DL, and seeing the theology in pratice clinched it.

The pope is a problem. Just was not in my conversion.
 
Personally I have no gripe with the Pope. But I cannot reasonably reconcile the Catholic Church of the first 1000 years with the ultramontanist views of the Roman Catholic Church.
Yes.
What “would be” Roman Catholic apologists do is isolate quotes from the Fathers that seem to support the papacy. Then they create pragmatic reasons for the papacy. Then using those isolated quotes and their pragmatic reasons, they create a new doctrine never believed before and retroactively ascribe these beliefs to the Church as something “implicitly” believed. But that method is pure speculation. In the meantime, Rome demands that every other orthodox christian in the world accept something (which, by the way is speculation) as De Fide that is foreign to their faith and contrary to the canons of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils under pain of anathema.
Yes.
 
The pope usually becomes a problem for others for one reason: Papal Infallibility. Whether one admits it or not, there is very little evidence for such a doctrine. Early councils of bishops decided doctrine, not the Pope through an ex cathedra statement.
This is spot on, Alexius. I cannot see a reuniting of the Churches until the doctrine (Vat I-1870) of supreme authority/papal infallibility is retracted.
 
Sorry, forgive me, I’m not EO but, I can probably answer this question with one word…Pope.
I think that you should not attempt to speak for Orthodox. You might wish that it were so cut and dried an issue, nothing is so simple.

Yes, I forgive you, but you seem to be displaying a prejudice, and it is unhelpful.
 
I was first attracted by apophatic theology: it immediately made sense.

The more I read, the more questions (e.g. original sin, etc) that wre problematic in the Protestant-Latin context, were answered.

Going to DL, and seeing the theology in pratice clinched it.

The pope is a problem. Just was not in my conversion.
I think that this represents my thinking very well.

Apophatic theology made sense to me too. Suddenly, the early church (teachings, saints, councils and canons) had a kind of immediacy that no longer needed elaborate explaining, rationalizing or interpreting.

The canons of the early church are not codified, superceded, redacted or modified in any way, they stand as written and cannot be changed. And the early church ecclesiology, as expressed by the canons, is still expressed in modern Orthodoxy and still works.

The bishops are real bishops, and they do not put up with theological or liturgical nonsense nor get creative themselves. They behave as though nothing is more important than preserving the Faith intact, as it has been handed to them, and they follow the Typica as has been handed to them.

Michael
 
Sorry, forgive me, I’m not EO but, I can probably answer this question with one word…Pope.
Actually in my case it was the Pope, or more specifically the death of Pope John Paul II that started me on the path to Orthodoxy. Very early on after I inquired into becoming Roman Catholic I was dissuaded by the requirement that my wife have her first marriage annulled. I’m a pretty impatient person so the thought of having to wait for the annulment to begin RCIA wasn’t very pleasant. I remembered reading about the Orthodox Church as I was studying Church history so, I called a local Greek Orthodox parish spoke with the pastoral assistant and the rest is history.

Pretty much like the other people have described after about a year it all just started to make perfect sense. Things that I had always implicitly believed about God are taught by the Church and those teachings are imparted by the life of the Church itself. The Liturgy, the iconography, the hymnography and the Fathers are all used to teach what we believe about God and salvation. My priest always says that a person doesn’t “become” Orthodox, they just recognize what they already were.

The irony in the whole thing is it would have been quicker for me to enter the Catholic Church, it was just over two years from the time I first stepped foot in an Orthodox Church until I was chrismated. 🤷
 
Personally I have no gripe with the Pope. But I cannot reasonably reconcile the Catholic Church of the first 1000 years with the ultramontanist views of the Roman Catholic Church.

What “would be” Roman Catholic apologists do is isolate quotes from the Fathers that seem to support the papacy. Then they create pragmatic reasons for the papacy. Then using those isolated quotes and their pragmatic reasons, they create a new doctrine never believed before and retroactively ascribe these beliefs to the Church as something “implicitly” believed. But that method is pure speculation. In the meantime, Rome demands that every other orthodox christian in the world accept something (which, by the way is speculation) as De Fide that is foreign to their faith and contrary to the canons of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils under pain of anathema.
Why do you keep calling us ultramontanists? The Montanists were labeled heretics.

Why do you try to drive a wedge between our churches? We should be one.

RAR
 
Why do you keep calling us ultramontanists? The Montanists were labeled heretics.

Why do you try to drive a wedge between our churches? We should be one.

RAR
Ultramontanism

A term used to denote integral and active Catholicism, because it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, is a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps. The term “ultramontane”, indeed, is relative: from the Roman, or Italian, point of view, the French, the Germans, and all the other peoples north of the Alps are ultramontanes, and technical ecclesiastical language actually applies the word in precisely this sense. In the Middle Ages, when a non-Italian pope was elected he was said to be a papa ultramontano. In this sense the word occurs very frequently in documents of the thirteenth century; after the migration to Avignon, however, it dropped out of the language of the Curia.

newadvent.org/cathen/15125a.htm
 
Why do you keep calling us ultramontanists? The Montanists were labeled heretics.

Why do you try to drive a wedge between our churches? We should be one.

RAR
I see that the definition of UltraMontanism is posted above.

Not all Roman Catholics are Ultramontanists, it is rather a party in the church, but it grew from a tolerated faction of the church to the dominant party and now demands that all believers subscribe to it’s particular theologeumena, which is not acceptable.

Ultamontanism has no connection with Montanism, but I would call it a modern error.

The closest thing to Montanism in the modern church that I can think of is the penchant of some people to place more theological importance on the audible messages of apparitions than that of the received Apostolic Faith and Scriptures.

Michael
 
I see that the definition of UltraMontanism is posted above.

Not all Roman Catholics are Ultramontanists, it is rather a party in the church, but it grew from a tolerated faction of the church to the dominant party and now demands that all believers subscribe to it’s particular theologeumena, which is not acceptable.

Ultamontanism has no connection with Montanism, but I would call it a modern error.

Michael
Thank you both Hesychios and Mickey. Come to think of it, I have heard that before…

But what do yo mean by “the dominant party now demands that all subscribe to it’s particular theologeumena, which is not acceptable.”???

I have a feeling you might be referring to an Orthodox-RC argument that I’m not familiar with… for my part, I think it only makes sense that the Holy See would act as the Church’s teaching head.

One example of the need comes to mind…Pope Paul VI’s rather prophetic word concerning the evils that would come about if the world embraced a contraceptive mentality. If only all the faithful would have read that little encyclical!!!

I read on an earlier post (I think yours, Hesychios), that this was not always so and that the “governmental” authority used to be more in the hands of the local bishops. I don’t argue that that would be fine, but it still seems to me that it is necessary to have a “Supreme Court,” if you will.

Bear with me, I may have more questions to come and I’ve never even consider our differences before. (in fact, I think we should get over ourselves, get it together, and finally get together)

RAR
 
Yes, I forgive you, but you seem to be displaying a prejudice, and it is unhelpful.
Displaying a prejudice?? c’mon! This comment was absolutely uncalled for and completely false.
I am not predujce. What an awful thing to say. I am truly offended.

Anybody with eyes to see can read these forums and see the most hotly debated subject is the Pope and his offfice. Every other issue stems from this. Period. The Filioque, the IC, Infallibilty etc.
The Pope is even being argued about in THIS THREAD.

I was being honest from what I’ve seen stated on these boards and other Orthodox forums. Thank you for your forgiveness but in all fairness I believe you own me an apology for your unfair analysis of me.
 
Thanks everyone for posting remarks about my question. I think at least one Eastern Orthodox person said that the early Church Fathers did not support the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Could you please post some information concerning this.

I also have another question. Why all the names of cities and things? Alexandrian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox? What’s the difference. Is it specifically doctrinally? Liturgy? Leadership?

I thank my Orthodox brethren for answering these questions to me.
 
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