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Monday, March 5, 2012
From Catholic to Orthodox
It's not been an easy "religious" road, and this change has been a
long time coming. I have taken the first steps to
becoming Orthodox. I love the Catholic Church, but it
is no longer the Church I grew up with. Its Liturgy
has been alien (sans the Traditional Latin Mass)to me since the
late 1960s when I saw it slowly being dismantled and
reinvented. Since then I have walked out of scores of
Novus Ordo Masses, while doing my best to tolerate
other Novus Ordo offerings in the name of 'peacful adjustment.'
But that compromise always produced frustration. The fact is,
ages ago Vatican II helped me lose my faith. The discombobulated Liturgy kept me away from the Church until the mainstreaming of the Traditional
Latin Mass a few years ago. I was fine with that for a couple
years but the sad reality is that
the TLM crowd is marginal and not the mainstreamCatholic Church at all. The Orthodox Church is whole-- there are no liturgical divisions (modern vs traditional). Orthodoxy is whole in a way that Catholicism today isn't.
I want the ancient Church of the first few
centuries, not a hybrid concession to the culture. What does that
make me? I admit, I am a little nervous doing this, but I
know it is right for me.
From an interview with former Catholic hermit-monk/theologian Fr. Gabriel Bunge:
Q: As a theologian, you have often spoken on the problem of West and East’s separation. Can we say that your conversion to Orthodoxy is the result of your meditation on this topic?
A: When I was in Greece and started turning towards Eastern Christianity, I began to perceive the schism between the East and the West very painfully. It stopped being an abstract theory or a plot in a Church history book, but rather something that was directly affecting my spiritual life. This is why the conversion to Orthodoxy started looking like a very logical step. In youth, I sincerely hoped that the union of the Western and the Eastern Christianity was possible. I was waiting for it to happen with all my heart. And I had some reasons to believe in it. At the Second Vatican Council, there were observers from the Russian Orthodox Church, including the current Metropolitan of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga Vladimir (Kotlyarov). At that time Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) was very active in international affairs. And many people thought that the two Churches were moving towards each other and would eventually meet at one point. It was my dream that was becoming more and more real. But as I was growing older and learning some things deeper, I stopped believing in the possibility of the reconciliation of two Churches in terms of the divine services and institutional unity. What was I to do? I could only go on searching for this unity on my own, individually, restoring it in one separate soul, mine. I could not do more. I just followed my conscience, and came to Orthodoxy. (From:
A Catholic Hermit Converted To Orthodoxy : Journey To Orthodoxy | The Orthodox Christian 'Welcome Home' Network for Converts)
A message from a friend:
Christos Aneste...welcome to the flock,that's truly exceptional Thom, Im impressed. I was born into it and took it for granted for many years. Now as I grow older I understand how fortunate I am to be a Byzantine in the best sense of the word.The ancient rites and the ties to Judaisum and even the Moslem faith are historically fasinating.A realistic view of mans foibles and short comings make Orthodoxy surprisingly modern..it's about faith, not guilt and punishment...