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Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy


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#1 IPSB

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 01:39 AM

Hello,

 

I am confused, I was raised in an atheist/agnostic family (I have been baptised because of tradition but not more) but have now come to faith but I have been unable to discern (through prayer, meditation and study) whether Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy is the true faith, there is no Eastern Orthodox church where I live so I attend Roman Catholic (Novus Ordo) Mass most Sundays but I have been to the Divine Liturgy in a city somewhat close to me a few times (without receiving the Eucharist, of course). I have prayed and read several books by both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox authors but can't discern the truth, any help in my discernment would be appreciated...

 

Thank you!

 

/ IPSB

 

PS. Please excuse my bad English!



#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 08:45 PM

In the Nicene Creed, each of us says that he believes 'In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church'. Consider the words, 'One' and 'Apostolic'. 'One' means what it says: there is only one Church, one Body of Christ. 'Apostolic' also means what it says: the One Church kept the faith of the Apostles from the time of the Apostles until now and will do so for ever. The Apostolic faith has not and will not and cannot change - ever. The true faith does not 'develop' or accept 'strange' or new doctrines. The 'right' or Orthodox faith is the only one that fits these criteria. Only the Orthodox Church possesses the fullness of faith: nothing added, nothing taken away. The Orthodox Church is Christ and His Body: it is not the 'best' Church or the 'best' route to Paradise. It is the state of things in this world and the next. The fact that the Orthodox Church has acquired associations with certain national and cultural contexts (mainly Russian and Greek) does not alter these things: for the first thousand years since the first Pentecost, the whole of Christendom was Orthodox. Becoming Orthodox is to return home, even if, as an atheist or agnostic (which I was), we did not know we had left.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 17 July 2015 - 08:46 PM.


#3 IPSB

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:41 PM

Thank you, Reader Andreas (not sure of proper way to address a reader), the national association is not a problem (I'm Finnish with Swedish roots living in Sweden, Finland has it's own national Orthodox Church), your answer helped me, I understand the argument that doctrine doesn't develop but I find it difficult to understand that the Pope of Rome does not have more jurisdiction than the other Patriarchs considering the words of Our Lord to St. Peter, 'thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my church', wasn't he then given jurisdiction over the other apostles? But I also don't think that he alone can teach infallibly... Any help understanding this would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

 

/ Pontus Bramberg



#4 Olga

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 02:57 AM

Christ appointed twelve (and later seventy) apostles, not just one. The Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost to illuminate all the apostles, not just one. Christ gave them all the authority to bind and loose, not just one. In Matthew 18:18, Christ is not speaking to St Peter alone.

 

And then there is the matter of the first apostolic council, over which St James, not St Peter, presided.



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 06:27 PM

The Orthodox position, based on Patristic teaching, is that the 'rock' is St Peter's confession of faith; the grace of Pentecost descended on all the apostles equally. Also, the Church has always been conciliar, not monarchical. Perhaps the most compelling point is that, as St Ignatius of Antioch indicated, every local Orthodox Church is complete in itself without reference to any higher authority. The Ecumenical Patriarch, though, has a position of honour among the other local Orthodox Church leaders as primus inter pares such as the Roman Popes had before 1054.



#6 IPSB

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 07:19 PM

So, are you saying that if the Papacy were reconciled with the other Patriarchs the Orthodox would recognise him as primus inter pares? In that case this makes much more sense...



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:55 PM

I believe so, but the point is so hypothetical, it is not worth considering.



#8 IPSB

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:31 AM

I guess so...

 

Thank you to both of you, you have helped me clear much of my confusion, I also posted a similar post on a Roman Catholic forum (to get both perspectives) and I find your responses much more reasonable than theirs and next year I will probably move to a place where I will be able to attend Liturgy weekly and start the process of conversion (Is my Lutheran baptism valid or would I need to be rebaptised?)

 

Again thank you!



#9 Dimitris

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 05:07 AM

Furthermore, as to the topic of Apostle Peter, you should consider the Church of Antioch was founded by Apostle Peter, too, even before the Church of Rome. So if there was a doctrince about the Churches founded by Apostle Peter to automatically have primacy over the other Churches this would apply to the Church of Antioch, too. But this was never the case, neither before the Great Schism nor afterwards.



#10 Olga

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 05:46 AM

 Is my Lutheran baptism valid or would I need to be rebaptised?

 

 Whether your reception into the Orthodox Church is by baptism or chrismation will depend on what the local bishop decides.



#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:23 AM

If you are given the choice of Baptism and Chrismation or only Chrismation, the choice is something to discuss with the priest who will receive you.



#12 IPSB

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:44 AM

Okay, and about the Antioch thing, I hadn't thought about it that way...

 

Thank you again!



#13 Ben Johnson

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 07:09 PM

If you get stuck and cannot attend a Liturgy, you can watch Liturgies live on the internet.  Here are some from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's website:  http://www.goarch.org/chapel/live



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 07:23 PM

Nearer your time zone is this http://www.online-church.ru/  It is the representative church in Moscow of the Serbian Patriarchate.



#15 IPSB

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 08:25 PM

Thank you, I will check those out. Moscow is certainly in a closer time zone (only two hours ahead, while US Eastern time is six hours behind, I think...)



#16 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 11:14 PM

The time difference between Sweden and Moscow is only one hour.



#17 IPSB

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:57 AM

I was thinking without Dayligt Savings Time, Sweden observes Daylight Savings, changing the time, while Russia permanently uses Daylight Savings.



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:11 AM

That is true - Russia stopped changing the time and has permanent standard time UTC/GMT + 3 hours.






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