New to Roman Catholicism, but now sick, confused and avoiding the sacraments

Charbel Makhlouf

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
I don't even know where to begin.

My life was completely turned upside down in 2018. I was a mess. I had no God, no religious footing. I knew only my passions.

In 2019 I saw E. Michael Jones on America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes. Dr. Jones said that the empty, disaffected feeling that young men felt today was their hearts yearning for God. He said the remedy was to become Catholic.

I went to RCIA and for a number of reasons it truly seemed like it was meant to be. During RCIA I found Taylor Marshall and the TradCath sphere. That immediately made more sense to me than the Novus Ordo stuff I was getting at weekly mass and RCIA.

I had such zeal. I bought so many Catholic books. I went down so many Catholic rabbit holes. I joined Catholic Match. I was certain I was going to find a Trad Cath wife and get married and have a family. I started following Roosh. I went to one of his talks. I was so happy for his conversion. I didn't really know ANYTHING about Orthdoxy; I just viewed them as brothers in Christ who had a few disagreements.

Then I got sick. And I stayed sick. And then I got worse, and worse. I had two PCR nasal swabs before I knew better. I got worse still.

When the Churches opened up again in May 2020, I was confirmed. I went to a Diocesan TLM. I kept reading about the faith.
  • Vatican II made me uncomfortable.
  • Francis made me uncomfortable.
  • Seeing various Popes making freemasonic signs made me uncomfortable.
  • Learning about JP2's ecumenical prayer meetings made me uncomfortable? (He kissed a Koran... what?)
  • Why is JP2 a Saint?
  • Why is Paul VI a Saint?
  • Why is John the 23rd a Saint?
  • The Charismatic Catholic Renewal made me uncomfortable.
  • Međugorje made me uncomfortable.
  • How can I ever make equal restitution for all my sins?
  • Good spiritual direction is incredibly hard to come by and I feel like I'm floundering. I trying to figure things out on my own and I'm making a complete mess of it.
God freed me from some major sin, but I continue to struggle with other habitual sin. I feel wretched. I don't feel worthy of the Eucharist. I develop a fear that I'm receiving Our Lord unworthily and that it is causing me physical illness and bodily decay.

I see Jay Dyer post a video refuting Tim Flanders and Taylor Marshall. I understand almost nothing they discuss because I'd never looked into the East/West schism. I haven't read any canons. But a seed is planted.

Then I watch the Roosh Hour with Brother Augustine. That opens up the can of worms.

I'm sicker than I've ever been. I think my heart is failing. I continue to go to my TLM, but I stopped going to Confession and stopped receiving the Eucharist. I no longer know what is true. If the Roman Catholic Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking of the sacraments while I'm in doubt. If the Orthodox Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking in the sacraments of a heretical Church.
  • I've done enough reading to seriously doubt Vatican I and the dogma of Papal infallibility.
  • I've never been to an Orthodox liturgy, but I hear they are very reverent (which rings true in my book)
  • The fasting and asceticism in the Orthodox Church seem much more proper to me too.
But what about the Rosary? Fatima? Lourdes? Our Lady of Guadalupe? What about all the Roman Catholic saints and Eucharistic miracles? What about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda? What about Fulton Sheen and Padre Pio? Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Blessed Miguel Pro? What about the efficacy of exorcism in the Catholic Church?

At the same time, after reading about Elder Joseph the Hesychast... well he's certainly a holy saint too.

I just don't want to die outside the true Church. And I really don't think I have much time left to produce fruit for Christ and wrench myself out of my sloth, my pride and my gluttony.

I need to go to confession. I haven't been in 3 weeks now, but is that Catholic Sacrament even efficacious if I'm in doubt? How does Confession work in the Orthodox Church.

The Catholic Church accepted my infant baptism in the Presbyterian Church, but is that even a true baptism if the Orthodox Church is the true church?

Has God been working in me at all or am I just dreaming stuff up?

Are there any converts from Traditional Catholicism here?

I'm just lost. I don't even know what I need. If you've made it through this long, muddled post and are moved to share any information or guidance that might put me on firmer ground with Our Lord, I'll be so very grateful.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Hi, I'll try to answer some of your questions, but just know I am not an authority.
Then I got sick. And I stayed sick. And then I got worse, and worse. I had two PCR nasal swabs before I knew better. I got worse still.
Lord have mercy! Disease is often the quickest path to repentance.
But what about the Rosary? Fatima? Lourdes? Our Lady of Guadalupe? What about all the Roman Catholic saints and Eucharistic miracles? What about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda? What about Fulton Sheen and Padre Pio? Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Blessed Miguel Pro? What about the efficacy of exorcism in the Catholic Church?
Orthodoxy doesn't believe all other heterodox faiths are utterly devoid of grace. 1 Cor. 12:3 "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." This is not to say we are ecumenist, no, Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Truth. Orthodoxy, despite its detractors claiming it practices mysticism, is very skeptical of all visions and miracles. It's very common for an Orthodox person to have a vision, and the details are only ever known to that person and his or her confessor. We are skeptical because even demons can appear as angels of light (2 Cor 11:14). Regarding all of those saints, it is unknown to me whether those people experienced genuine miracles or prelest.

Also, regarding the Rosary, that is allowed, but my understanding is we do not meditate. I don't pray the Rosary but I do include Hail Mary's in my prayer rope and daily prayers.
At the same time, after reading about Elder Joseph the Hesychast... well he's certainly a holy saint too.
Indeed!
I just don't want to die outside the true Church. And I really don't think I have much time left to produce fruit for Christ and wrench myself out of my sloth, my pride and my gluttony.

I need to go to confession. I haven't been in 3 weeks now, but is that Catholic Sacrament even efficacious if I'm in doubt? How does Confession work in the Orthodox Church.
I've gone to confession under Greek and Russian practices. Greek confession, in my experience, is much longer, around 20-30 minutes and after you confess, it is a heart to heart with your spiritual father, and then prayers of absolution are read, but confession will only be once every 1-3 months or so (this was at a large parish so it could be more frequent elsewhere). Russian practice is more frequent, around every other week but it can be more or less frequent. You confess your sins, get guidance, and prayers of absolution are read. Only takes a few minutes.
The Catholic Church accepted my infant baptism in the Presbyterian Church, but is that even a true baptism if the Orthodox Church is the true church?
Not every Orthodox denomination would re-baptize you. I know ROCOR would, some may do it on request. I've been to several baptisms. Some of what makes Orthodox baptisms different from other heterodox faiths is 1. triple full immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 2. You are exorcised, 3. You are given a guardian angel, 4. The priest says "you are baptized..." instead of "I baptize you..."
Has God been working in me at all or am I just dreaming stuff up?
Of course He has, which is clear from that verse I shared! God bless you. If you need any more clarification feel free to ask and if I can't answer I'm sure someone else can.

A couple of resources:
Directory of parishes in America across all jurisdictions: https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/parishes/
The Orthodox Faith by Fr. Thomas Hopko: https://www.oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith
 

Sol Invictus

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I considered myself Catholic and had even gone through RCIA a little over a decade ago, but never got confirmed in the church. I wasn't quite a Trad Catholic, but I had been leaning in that direction for a while. Frankly, though, there were a number of things that didn't sit well with me about Catholic teachings, the first of which was Papal Supremacy. After studying the first 1000 years of the history of the church, it was quite apparent that doctrinal authority came from church councils, NOT from Papal bulls or speaking "ex cathedra". On top of that, it became increasingly apparent that the Catholic Church had a huge number of different threads running through it, including the extremely liberal order or Jesuits, the Charismatic Renewal, the various Trad Catholic groups, and a heretical pope who seemed to be doing his best to tear the church apart.

Even after all of that, I was still holding out in the Catholic Church, just because that's where I had decided to place my faith. I rationalized it by saying that the one true Church would be the one that remained the strongest, that God truly wouldn't let a pope lead the church into error, and that my faith would be rewarded. Despite that, though, I felt little reward for my faith, or even any incentive to let that faith move me to a more spiritual life. In fact, the church did nothing to feed my faith, only feeding my intellect up to a point, yet left me wanting more. It wasn't until I started studying the Orthodox Church in-depth were I truly felt all the pieces click into place. Strangely enough, once that happened in an intellectual manner, that led me directly to yearning for a more spiritual life. I don't feel that this all happened by accident.

My own experiences here are different than yours, but what I can say is to continue to study the teachings of the Orthodox Church. And then pray about it. Go attend a Divine Liturgy. Speak to a priest about the same concerns you laid out in your post. And have patience with this whole process. God will lead you to the path He wants you to take, and it'll happen when it's meant to happen.
 
First and foremost you need to cool down your head, the way I read it, your health issues could stem from you worrying too much.
Let me recommend three books to you, two of them Orthodox, one Reformed:

1. Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: Creation, God's Image in Man, & the Redeeming Work of the Trinity by Vladimir Lossky
2. The Vision of God by Vladimir Lossky
3. Magnalia Dei by Herman Bavinck

I hope, the Orthodox here like Lossky, so that I don't recommend someone who is controversial among them.
 
Hi there friend. First of all, I thank God for your conversion to Christ, not withstanding that you are having the difficulties outlined above. I am not going to presume to advise you on these points - as a faithful catholic it is not easy these days - I am convinced that the vatican has been infiltrated by the enemy and captured it for the satanists/globalists/nwo - whatever you want to call them. There have been many saints such as Padre Pio who prophesied that this was going to happen, that there would be an ape of the church. Its very troubling to say the least. However Christ said he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail so how are we to understand this? My opinion (and it is just that, the opinion of a sinful and simple man) is that the vatican is not the be all and end all of the church. I will pray for you and remember you in my rosary today. My only real advice is find the remnant of believers in your parish and get around them - ask God to lead you to them. Check out the orthodox as well, I have a lot of time for the orthodox church. But just remember which ever church you attend there will be problems because we are sinners. God bless you
 

Pancras

Sparrow
IMHO the fact there are even Catholics considering converting to Orthodoxy shows that many were of fair weather or Protestant mindset and not truly understanding Catholicism to begin with. Traditionalist Catholics who, out of desperation, think they’ve found the panacea to Vatican II in Eastern Orthodoxy should think twice! Not only were there many Orthodox — ROCOR included — involved in the discussions where the “schema” for the VII documents were hashed; Russian Orthodox “ressourciement” is itself the seedbed of Vatican II Nouvelle théologie (“New Theology”):
“Liturgical Reform After Vatican II: Their Impact on Eastern Orthodoxy” (Nicholas E. Denysenko):

-(p. 9) Vatican II was the result of the liturgical movement and Eastern Orthodoxy had a huge impact on Vatican II in liturgical reform.
-(pp. 10-11) A concept similar to “Tikkun Olam” is the end goal of liturgical reform.
-(p. 12) Vatican II embraced the traditions, practices, and principles of the pre-revolutionary Russian Orthodox church in its liturgical reform.
-(p. 38) How Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) was influenced by “ressourcement” which started in 18th century Russian Orthodox church. The center of 'ressourcement' shifted from pre-revolutionary Russia to the Saint Sergius Institute in Paris. Liturgy was key.
-(p. 40) The theology of the priesthood shared by Orthodox and Catholic “ressourcement” theologians became a staple of magisterial teaching, particularly in Lumen Gentium, Apostolicam Actuasitatem, and Sacrosanctum Concilium.
-(p. 41) The key players in this “theology of the priesthood” — Nicholas Afanasiev, Paul Evdokimov, Alexander Schmemann, and Dumitru Staniloae — were all (excepting Staniloae) products of the Institut Saint-Serge in Paris.
-(p. 51) The sacramental theology of priesthood developed by “ressourcement” theologians like Afanasiev, Evdokimov, Schmemann, Congar and Michel became official in two documents of Vatican II.
-(p. 53) Teachings of Vatican II resonate significantly with the ecumenical “ressourcement” theology flourishing prior to the Council. (see page for more)
-(pp.54-6) Russian Orthodox church's influence on Vatican II through dialogue and ecumenical encounters.
-(pp. 56-7) Adoption of “ressourcement” theology logically led to the recognization of "the validity of the Assyrian form of the anaphora of Addai and Mari, a Eucharistic prayer which does not include the Words of Institution" in 2001.


“True Reform: Liturgy and Ecclesiology in Sacrosanctum Concilium” (Massimo Faggioli):

-(pp. 20-22) The role which “Ressourcement” played in Sacrosanctum Concilium and Vatican II. Mentions how post-conciliar church borrows heavily from Eastern & Russian Orthodoxy.


“Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance” (Paul L. Gavrilyuk):

-This is the self-described modernist founder of St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris which was the epicenter from which Florovsky, Meyendorff, Lossky, Schmemann spread Russian Orthodox neo-Palamism in the West and participated in the schema of the Novus Ordo:
-(p. 2) Bulgakov: “The imprint of our time is stamped vividly on our theological creativity. Since new is the synonym of creativity, we are scolded for our modernism by people...But our modernism is and desires to be a living tradition...”
-(p. 7) The Paris-London-New York-Heidelberg-Moscow-St. Petersburg circle of Florovsky.
-(pp. 21-22) Russian intellectuals and French Modernists collaboration began in 1906.
-(p. 128) Moisei Akimovich Ginzburg's more than generous interest free loan (125% of what was owed) given to the Russian Orthodox Church for the Institut Saint-Serge in Paris. Ginzburg was a Baku oil magnate & business partners with the infamous Sidney Reilly (Sigmund Rosenblum).
-(pp. 121-22) Florovksy and Anton Kartashev founded the “Brotherhood of St. Sophia”. Other members included Bulgakov, Lossky, Arsenev, and Berdyaev.
-(p. 134) “Freedom” and “Creativity” was the vision which united members of the “Brotherhood of St. Sophia
-(p. 158) "[Sergius] Bulgakov’s explorations of the theological trajectory... anticipated similar developments in la nouvelle théologie.”
-(p. 212) "Florovsky started teaching at the St Sergius Institute in 1926, about a decade before the first soundings of the French ressourcement movement."
-(p. 233) Vladimir Lossky's “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church” (1944) and Georges Florovsky's “Ways of Russian Theology” (1937) call for the ressourcement of Orthodox theology.
-(p. 268) Florovsky’s call for a “return to the Fathers” was answered by Lossky, Ouspensky, Schmemann, and Yannaras.


Jay Dyer has said himself that Vatican II theology is closer to Orthodoxy than pre-Vatican II.
 
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OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I don't even know where to begin.

My life was completely turned upside down in 2018. I was a mess. I had no God, no religious footing. I knew only my passions.

In 2019 I saw E. Michael Jones on America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes. Dr. Jones said that the empty, disaffected feeling that young men felt today was their hearts yearning for God. He said the remedy was to become Catholic.

I went to RCIA and for a number of reasons it truly seemed like it was meant to be. During RCIA I found Taylor Marshall and the TradCath sphere. That immediately made more sense to me than the Novus Ordo stuff I was getting at weekly mass and RCIA.

I had such zeal. I bought so many Catholic books. I went down so many Catholic rabbit holes. I joined Catholic Match. I was certain I was going to find a Trad Cath wife and get married and have a family. I started following Roosh. I went to one of his talks. I was so happy for his conversion. I didn't really know ANYTHING about Orthdoxy; I just viewed them as brothers in Christ who had a few disagreements.

Then I got sick. And I stayed sick. And then I got worse, and worse. I had two PCR nasal swabs before I knew better. I got worse still.

When the Churches opened up again in May 2020, I was confirmed. I went to a Diocesan TLM. I kept reading about the faith.
  • Vatican II made me uncomfortable.
  • Francis made me uncomfortable.
  • Seeing various Popes making freemasonic signs made me uncomfortable.
  • Learning about JP2's ecumenical prayer meetings made me uncomfortable? (He kissed a Koran... what?)
  • Why is JP2 a Saint?
  • Why is Paul VI a Saint?
  • Why is John the 23rd a Saint?
  • The Charismatic Catholic Renewal made me uncomfortable.
  • Međugorje made me uncomfortable.
  • How can I ever make equal restitution for all my sins?
  • Good spiritual direction is incredibly hard to come by and I feel like I'm floundering. I trying to figure things out on my own and I'm making a complete mess of it.
God freed me from some major sin, but I continue to struggle with other habitual sin. I feel wretched. I don't feel worthy of the Eucharist. I develop a fear that I'm receiving Our Lord unworthily and that it is causing me physical illness and bodily decay.

I see Jay Dyer post a video refuting Tim Flanders and Taylor Marshall. I understand almost nothing they discuss because I'd never looked into the East/West schism. I haven't read any canons. But a seed is planted.

Then I watch the Roosh Hour with Brother Augustine. That opens up the can of worms.

I'm sicker than I've ever been. I think my heart is failing. I continue to go to my TLM, but I stopped going to Confession and stopped receiving the Eucharist. I no longer know what is true. If the Roman Catholic Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking of the sacraments while I'm in doubt. If the Orthodox Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking in the sacraments of a heretical Church.
  • I've done enough reading to seriously doubt Vatican I and the dogma of Papal infallibility.
  • I've never been to an Orthodox liturgy, but I hear they are very reverent (which rings true in my book)
  • The fasting and asceticism in the Orthodox Church seem much more proper to me too.
But what about the Rosary? Fatima? Lourdes? Our Lady of Guadalupe? What about all the Roman Catholic saints and Eucharistic miracles? What about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda? What about Fulton Sheen and Padre Pio? Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Blessed Miguel Pro? What about the efficacy of exorcism in the Catholic Church?

At the same time, after reading about Elder Joseph the Hesychast... well he's certainly a holy saint too.

I just don't want to die outside the true Church. And I really don't think I have much time left to produce fruit for Christ and wrench myself out of my sloth, my pride and my gluttony.

I need to go to confession. I haven't been in 3 weeks now, but is that Catholic Sacrament even efficacious if I'm in doubt? How does Confession work in the Orthodox Church.

The Catholic Church accepted my infant baptism in the Presbyterian Church, but is that even a true baptism if the Orthodox Church is the true church?

Has God been working in me at all or am I just dreaming stuff up?

Are there any converts from Traditional Catholicism here?

I'm just lost. I don't even know what I need. If you've made it through this long, muddled post and are moved to share any information or guidance that might put me on firmer ground with Our Lord, I'll be so very grateful.
I respectfully suggest you start attending an Orthodox Parish and begin speaking with a Priest. The internet is good for educational purposes, but it's no replacement for real world guidance by a Priest. Especially for someone so early in their journey such as yourself, you need to have a solid foundation at a local Parish. Then I suggest to start reading books about our Saints, St. Joseph the Hesychast is a great start! We have many others such as St. Paisios, St. Porphyrios, St. Nektarios, St. Seraphim of Sarov, etc.

I wouldn't dive right into the "deep end" of Orthodox theology just yet. These are very complex theological topics and for someone who is only beginning to inquire into Orthodoxy it's probably not a good idea. Same with church history or any highly intellectual topic, it's best to start with the basics first.

So, in short, I'd start with 3 things:

1. Start attending services at a local Orthodox Church, and speak with the Priest.
2. Start reading the writings of/about Orthodox Saints.
3. Get an Orthodox Prayer Book and start a morning/evening prayer rule (the Priest will be able to give one)

If you have any other questions or need clarification then don't hesitate to ask. God Bless you!
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
How can I ever make equal restitution for all my sins?
I don't feel worthy of the Eucharist.

A week before my baptism, my Godfather asked me if I had any final concerns, I told him that "I don't think I'm worthy to be counted among the Christians with all the good people at the church" Do you know what his response was? ""That's perfect""

We're never worthy. It's one of the humbling things about life, the harder you look at yourself, and try and often fail to fix it the more aware of your sinfulness you are. God doesn't expect perfect restitution, he expects you to try, and as long as you're really trying in good conscience (and you won't be able to fool God about that), then you'll be accepted. When we turn from sin, God will run out to meet us. I suggest you read the parable of the prodigal son until that sinks in.
 

OrthoLeaf

Sparrow
Orthodox
IMHO the fact there are even Catholics considering converting to Orthodoxy shows that many were of fair weather or Protestant mindset and not truly understanding Catholicism to begin with. Traditionalist Catholics who, out of desperation, seek a panacea to Vatican II in Eastern Orthodoxy should think twice. Not only were there many Orthodox — ROCOR included — involved in the discussions where the “schema” for the VII documents were hashed; Russian Orthodox “ressourciement” is itself the seedbed of Vatican II Nouvelle théologie (“New Theology")
I've heard this argument once before and I was unimpressed with it then, as I am now. With all due respect, it's a bad faith argument that simply comes off as cope. To blame the problems going on within the Catholic world on anything other than the Catholic church simply cannot be taken seriously. For starters, let us take your claim at face value: this would imply that a half dozen immigrants were able to corrupt and destroy your church with a few correspondences, in under a decade. What would this say about the internal spiritual condition of your church? I think most Catholics would have to agree that to point the finger at anyone other than the Vatican is not only disingenuous, but dangerous.

Allow me to digress here with an analogy. Let us imagine there was a husband who received his first ever alcoholic beverage from his neighbor. This husband would go on to become an alcoholic and spend the remainder of his life in a state of drunkenness. The wife then, refusing to acknowledge the problem in her own household goes on to blame the neighbor for offering the drink in the first place, instead of laying the blame where it belongs, at the feet of her husband - and perhaps even closer to home, the spiritual state of the household that led or allowed the husband to fall into alcoholism in the first place. Allow me to further build upon this analogy, from our Orthodox perspective. Let us say that this alcoholic beverage was first offered to the husband to be used as a disinfectant and painkiller during the medical process of cleaning out a mortified wound. Thus, the medicine which was initially given to the sick husband would go on to be abused and turned into a poison, which would inevitably result in further sickness.

Now, to get away from abstractions and analogies, one needs only look at the following 60 years of post Vat II Catholicism to accurately discern the spirit behind it. Has the Catholic church been returning to tradition and reverence? Has it been returning back to its ancient faith, of even a few centuries ago? No. It has been steadily declining into ecumenism, modernism and secularism. Thus, we can see that the spirit governing Vat II, which still inhabits the Vatican to this day, is not one of Orthodoxy, but one of "progress" and a mimicking or mockery of Christianity. It is the spirit of anti-Christ that reigns in your church, not the spirit of Orthodoxy.

I will extend the olive branch here and acknowledge that this spirit of anti-Christ is also attacking the Orthodox Church as well. Thus it should be seen as a foreign and external spirit (satan) waging war against traditional Christianity and the Church. The main difference here is, in purely practical terms, that Orthodox ecclesiology has the means to prevent the spread of this spiritual virus throughout the whole of the Church.
 

Pancras

Sparrow
For starters, let us take your claim at face value: this would imply that a half dozen immigrants were able to corrupt and destroy your church with a few correspondences, in under a decade.
No but the fact remains they had a role in it; naturally so, for just as Pilate and Herod became friends on the first Good Friday, so the avowed enemies God and the Catholic religion often join forces in their plot to destroy His Church. Who could have orchestrated and carefully implemented such sweeping worldwide changes? Following Satan’s lead, enemies of God made a conscientious effort to unite forces of evil into a formidable army to attack Holy Mother Church from within and without during the last three centuries in order to destroy faith, dethrone God, and weaken His sway over society. Evil masterminds prepared the soil for the formation of a Counterfeit Church decades before Vatican II arrived. It was a joint endeavor that came to fruition after hundreds of years of careful planning.
 

OrthoLeaf

Sparrow
Orthodox
No but the fact remains they had a role in it; naturally so, for just as Pilate and Herod became friends on the first Good Friday, so the avowed enemies God and the Catholic religion often join forces in their attempt to destroy His Church. Who could have orchestrated and carefully implemented such sweeping worldwide changes? Following Satan’s lead, enemies of God made a conscientious effort to unite forces of evil into a formidable army to attack Holy Mother Church from within and without during the last three centuries in order to destroy faith, dethrone God, and weaken His sway over society. Evil masterminds prepared the soil for the formation of a Counterfeit Church decades before Vatican II arrived. It was a joint endeavor that came to fruition after hundreds of years of careful planning.
This argument can be turned around against you. The CIA controlled Vatican played a role in spreading ecumenism to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the west has its fingerprints all over the Ukraine-Russia-Greek schism today. We can go back even further to the creation of the Unites, and the numerous Latin incursions into Orthodox lands, but I digress. Nonetheless, the fact that you consider Orthodox the enemies of God and not the godless revolutionaries actively destroying your own church is telling. I reached out in good faith, but this conversation will go nowhere.

We will continue to worship God in peace and piety as have for 2000 years. Lord wiling, you will do the same.
 

Pancras

Sparrow
This argument can be turned around against you. The CIA controlled Vatican played a role in spreading ecumenism to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the west has its fingerprints all over the Ukraine-Russia-Greek schism today.
The CIA !?? :laughter:
We can go back even further to the creation of the Unites, and the numerous Latin incursions into Orthodox lands, but I digress. Nonetheless, the fact that you consider Orthodox the enemies of God and not the godless revolutionaries actively destroying your own church is telling. I reached out in good faith, but this conversation will go nowhere.
I’m just saying, they have awfully warm “fraternal relations” with those “godless revolutionaries” who are actively trying to destroy the Catholic Church.
-(Full Text of Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia — “We are not competitors but brothers, and this concept must guide all our mutual actions as well as those directed to the outside world.”)
-
Francis Gives Away Relics of St. Peter to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch
-
Francis: Converting the Orthodox “Great Sin Against Ecumenism”
We will continue to worship God in peace and piety as have for 2000 years. Lord wiling, you will do the same.
Lord willing.
 

OrthoLeaf

Sparrow
Orthodox
Read: "How the CIA's doctrinal warfare program changed the Catholic Church" - David A. Whemoff (A Trad Catholic)

But all this is outside the original scope of this thread and as I already said, this conversation is not going anywhere so this will be my final response. God bless.
 

FrMark

Chicken
Orthodox
Priest
I think the 3 points of advice that OrthoCole offered above are precisely what you should do. I am an Orthodox priest (Antiochian Archdiocese) but am not a scholar. My conversion came after spending years in the Episcopal Church, Assembly of God, Baptist and non-denominational groups. I was raised liturgically as an Episcopalian. I had a “born-again” conversion at an Evangelical youth camp and then spoke in tongues at a charismatic home Bible study. Then, in 1995, I thought I had found the perfect church (Charismatic Episcopcal Church) which blended all 3 streams of my spiritual journey. After founding and pastoring one of their congregations, the denomination had a major fracture which resulted In our bishop and all of the priests in our diocese severing relationship with it. I had to admit to myself that I was using that group to try to make the Church into the image I thought it should be. Where should I go now, I wondered? I visited a few Catholic churches for awhile but began to see many signs of their drifting away from Tradition like the Episcopal Church began doing in the 1970s. I desired to go where The Church will change me instead of me trying to change The Church. The fact that Rome split from the East and then 500 years later began to further fracture post-Luther into 30,000+ denominations made me take a long, hard look at The Orthodox Church. Just its teaching on the nature of sin and salvation alone was enough to make me embrace the Orthodox faith. The only way to truly experience this transformation of our souls is to live it out in the context of a worshiping community of Orthodox believers in a local parish. Again, follow OrthoCole’s advice.
 

Caramasão

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
There have been many saints such as Padre Pio who prophesied that this was going to happen, that there would be an ape of the church.
I don't want to sound condescending, but I'm well familiar with Roman Catholic prophecies and I must say that "prophesying" that the Vatican would fall is not impressive at all, is not like it takes a supernatural vision to see that.
 
I don't want to sound condescending, but I'm well familiar with Roman Catholic prophecies and I must say that "prophesying" that the Vatican would fall is not impressive at all, is not like it takes a supernatural vision to see that.
Prophecies about the Vatican or the Russian Empire or the USA sooner or later become true or partly true, because every institution on earth goes down one day or goes through turmoil.
When the Vandals sacked Rome, many people saw the end of the world coming, to which Augustine said, that people can't know that and should not speculate all the time. Guess what, the end of the world did not come, and even with that prophecy you got a chance, because sooner or later it will come.
Did it need supernatural gifts to foresee the end of the Soviet Union? I'm gonna prophecise the end of China now: I saw the Red Sea and the waves crushing down, Red China will fall (sooner or later, one day, probably, definetely maybe).
 
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lskdfjldsf

Pelican
Orthodox Catechumen
Gold Member
A week before my baptism, my Godfather asked me if I had any final concerns, I told him that "I don't think I'm worthy to be counted among the Christians with all the good people at the church" Do you know what his response was? ""That's perfect""

We're never worthy. It's one of the humbling things about life, the harder you look at yourself, and try and often fail to fix it the more aware of your sinfulness you are. God doesn't expect perfect restitution, he expects you to try, and as long as you're really trying in good conscience (and you won't be able to fool God about that), then you'll be accepted. When we turn from sin, God will run out to meet us. I suggest you read the parable of the prodigal son until that sinks in.

A few weeks after converting, I booked a flight to Israel to visit holy sites. No tour guides or tour groups, just an interest in seeing the places mentioned in the New Testament with my own eyes.

I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre towards the end of the trip. I managed to stay inside the Church for about 10 minutes before having to rush out the door -- overwhelming sense of guilt, shame, not being worthy, etc. I was one of the few people in the Church, but it felt like showing up to a stadium full of people and everyone looking at me with disgust, zoomed in from every angle. I went outside, found an empty spot in one of the side alleys, and cried. It was a surreal experience I will never be able to explain. For me it happened there, for others in regular churches or other places.

OP: it's a good sign, let it anchor your faith.
 

Feyoder

Kingfisher
A few weeks after converting, I booked a flight to Israel to visit holy sites. No tour guides or tour groups, just an interest in seeing the places mentioned in the New Testament with my own eyes.

I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre towards the end of the trip. I managed to stay inside the Church for about 10 minutes before having to rush out the door -- overwhelming sense of guilt, shame, not being worthy, etc. I was one of the few people in the Church, but it felt like showing up to a stadium full of people and everyone looking at me with disgust, zoomed in from every angle. I went outside, found an empty spot in one of the side alleys, and cried. It was a surreal experience I will never be able to explain. For me it happened there, for others in regular churches or other places.

OP: it's a good sign, let it anchor your faith.

Wow, powerful man. Thank you for sharing the story.
 
A few weeks after converting, I booked a flight to Israel to visit holy sites. No tour guides or tour groups, just an interest in seeing the places mentioned in the New Testament with my own eyes.

I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre towards the end of the trip. I managed to stay inside the Church for about 10 minutes before having to rush out the door -- overwhelming sense of guilt, shame, not being worthy, etc. I was one of the few people in the Church, but it felt like showing up to a stadium full of people and everyone looking at me with disgust, zoomed in from every angle. I went outside, found an empty spot in one of the side alleys, and cried. It was a surreal experience I will never be able to explain. For me it happened there, for others in regular churches or other places.

OP: it's a good sign, let it anchor your faith.
The immediacy reminds me somehow of Blaise Pascal's mystical experience in the age of 31.
 
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