Look, I’m not a good writer but knowing St.Anthony the great could neither read nor write yet still achieved heaven, means that there’s still hope for me yet and I need not despair.
With that off my chest and in the best way possible I can now discuss my journey to Orthodoxy as it is fresh now in my own heart and mind. First I want to perhaps clarify some points I made in the previous post. Many believe my journey to Orthodoxy is a direct result of my being upset at the liturgical practices of the west but this is not true. I understand that scandal exists in all churches however I refuse to allow anyone to say I can’t look at the fruits ( or lack of ) of the Catholic Church as a basis for the beginning of that search. I want to clarify that Jesus says we will know them by their fruits and what they produce. To ignore the lack of fruit in the Catholic Church would therefore be to ignore Christs advice.
In the Roman church we have spiritual chaos on all levels and this is just the tip of the iceberg that leads us to dig deeper to see the bigger problem. I would not therefore advise people to enter into Holy Orthodoxy on the basis of these alone but because they firmly believe there is no papacy. So far all the arguments I’ve seen for the papacy are unconvincing. I’ve seen lots of quotes by Catholic apologists in a bid to prove it but whilst a lot of them look solid there is no evidence of a papacy prior to the schism. None whatsoever. There’s a lot of quotes of Saints saying we must obey St.Peter and respect the chair he sits upon but even today it’s normal to respect any Bishop or patriarchal authority and to obey your local bishop. It therefore makes sense all of these quotes in that regard but none of them prove the papacy. Other quotes I’ve seen from church fathers is that the church is to be found in Rome. Well of course it is because whatever diocese you belong to no matter what bishop it be under there you will find “the church” as it is universal and a lot of the fathers who say these things fell under Peters Jurisdiction anyway so their statements make sense.
Have you ever noticed that none of the 7 ecumenical councils have anywhere written In them ” and we brought all this to the Pope who then gave his approval”? No thats because all bishops made decisions in union with one another. With something as big as the papacy you’d think they’d make this big decision of the Pope a very important and recorded event but it’s not there.
The Orthodox, although not a perfect church you’d find it difficult to find a feminine priest among them or a coward afraid to speak up for his faith. In fact you’d find it hard to discover any clergy who does not believe in the whole Orthodox faith. Even with something as wild as Google I still can’t find one. Even lay Orthodox are so devout you’d be hard pushed to find a schismatic among them whilst the catholic lay people are as secular as their priests. I went to a prayer group one night and they were all doing Hindu meditation. It’s really that bad but that’s what happens with schisms, they snowball and grow like a pimple on a teenagers nose before it gets to that point when it must bust and spill over and if you don’t wash your face germs spread which in turn create more pimples and before you know it your whole face is unrecognisable and you don’t know who you are anymore. This is what has happened the Catholic Church post schism.
I find the Orthodox Church to be more about prayer, monasticism, the Gospel in action whilst the Catholic Church is more of the intellectual type that focuses on talking about God. Take a look at the EWTN celebrities such as Scot Hahn and Fr.Corapi etc etc. They are making tonnes of money from their tapes and books off the backs of naive Catholics who think that somehow by buying their book they will get closer to the truth. I find that Catholic Church is interested in selling you a book or a theology course whilst Orthodoxy is interested in having you experience God, prayer and saving your soul. But as regards EWTN and that whole pop theology culture that is the American way. My American wife said to me that’s just the American culture and they will make money out of anything and that sadly includes religion and there’s always a victim willing to buy into him and make him some money.
I’m unwell at the moment so I’ll leave it there. Perhaps there will be a part three who knows. A final part where I embrace the fullness of the Truth which is Holy Orthodoxy and emerge from the waters a new creature. After all, Good things come in Threes. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit now and forever and unto ages of ages, Amin.