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

Viktor Zeegelaar

Ostrich
Orthodox Inquirer
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.
Hey man,

First of all I'm an Orthodox inquirer coming from a secular background so I don't have too much to say about the differences between the three Christian schools of thought. What I do know however is that usually people go from protestantism to catholicism to end up at Orthodoxy as the final truth. Some need steps inbetween, personally I'm planning of going straight Orthodoxy for protestantism I can't take seriously for basic theological reasons (there's just too much to poke holes in let's be honest) and the Catholic church is way too wordly for me, I see it more as a powerstructure based on money/power and worldly affairs than a religious institution. That being said I do respect TradCath, but there's one step further into coming to the truth and that is Orthodoxy.

What I would advice you in general is to take it easy on yourself. As long as what you're doing is in good conscience, you're on your way. No need of beating yourself up. Revelation goes in phases. All of us learned the truth over time, whether that's the whole ceaujeauna nonsense, or the right school of thought with regard to God, or the material truth/redpill. It takes time man.

You seem like a zealous man on your way and you've already passed a lot of hurdles man. Keep it up, give yourself some credit. Remember, despair/depression is a grave sin for you don't trust in God to guide you on where you must be, regardless of whether you know now where you'll end up (none of us know frankly) trust that you're on His way. For me personally over the last 5 years I thought almost on a weekly basis that my life was absolutely going down the gutter, in hindsight however realizing that these painful/sad/depression ridden things were what I needed to bounce out of it, see another fault in myself and take a step further to where I am now. Suffering gets us where we must be. May very well be that God now beats your hands to make you make your hands move from the wheel that you're holding now so tightly, and give all your trust to Him.

All best with your health mate, see that as a chance to grow too. Suffering is growth, nothing pushes ourselves to where we must be without suffering for we would lay on a beach doing not much instead of pursuing and trusting our God given mission on this earth.
 
Hey man,

First of all I'm an Orthodox inquirer coming from a secular background so I don't have too much to say about the differences between the three Christian schools of thought. What I do know however is that usually people go from protestantism to catholicism to end up at Orthodoxy as the final truth. Some need steps inbetween, personally I'm planning of going straight Orthodoxy for protestantism I can't take seriously for basic theological reasons (there's just too much to poke holes in let's be honest) and the Catholic church is way too wordly for me, I see it more as a powerstructure based on money/power and worldly affairs than a religious institution. That being said I do respect TradCath, but there's one step further into coming to the truth and that is Orthodoxy.

What I would advice you in general is to take it easy on yourself. As long as what you're doing is in good conscience, you're on your way. No need of beating yourself up. Revelation goes in phases. All of us learned the truth over time, whether that's the whole ceaujeauna nonsense, or the right school of thought with regard to God, or the material truth/redpill. It takes time man.

You seem like a zealous man on your way and you've already passed a lot of hurdles man. Keep it up, give yourself some credit. Remember, despair/depression is a grave sin for you don't trust in God to guide you on where you must be, regardless of whether you know now where you'll end up (none of us know frankly) trust that you're on His way. For me personally over the last 5 years I thought almost on a weekly basis that my life was absolutely going down the gutter, in hindsight however realizing that these painful/sad/depression ridden things were what I needed to bounce out of it, see another fault in myself and take a step further to where I am now. Suffering gets us where we must be. May very well be that God now beats your hands to make you make your hands move from the wheel that you're holding now so tightly, and give all your trust to Him.

All best with your health mate, see that as a chance to grow too. Suffering is growth, nothing pushes ourselves to where we must be without suffering for we would lay on a beach doing not much instead of pursuing and trusting our God given mission on this earth.
There are three schools of Christian thought? We sum up Calvinism, Lutheranism, Methodism and others as one school, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy as another one, although Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism were longer in communion than both were with Oriental Orthodoxy? On predestination Thomism has more in common with Calvinism than it has with Orthodoxy and Molinism. Do we sum up all denominations that reject the papacy as a single school?
Just saying, that things are more complex.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
There are three schools of Christian thought? We sum up Calvinism, Lutheranism, Methodism and others as one school, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy as another one, although Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism were longer in communion than both were with Oriental Orthodoxy? On predestination Thomism has more in common with Calvinism than it has with Orthodoxy and Molinism. Do we sum up all denominations that reject the papacy as a single school?
Just saying, that things are more complex.
We know things are more complex, but if we're narrowing Christianity down into 3 very general groups, which isn't unrealistic, those are pretty accurate groups. Oriental Orthodoxy, despite being separated from Orthodoxy longer, has done a lot to come closer to Orthodox theology and has retained very similar aesthetics, while maintaining very similar views on ecclesiology and soteriology. Catholicism cannot say any of that, unless we're talking about Uniates/Eastern Rite/Byzantine Rite Catholics. No need to muddy the waters.

It's like if someone mentioned the two political parties in context of a presidential election results, and someone flies in and says, "well just in the republican party alone there's libertarians, neocons, paleocons, although the neocons have more in common with moderate democrats - which in itself is a loaded term as it could refer to corporate democrats..." It's true but it dives into totally useless information given the context, and it's something anyone on this forum is very aware of.
 
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We know things are more complex, but if we're narrowing Christianity down into 3 very general groups, which isn't unrealistic, those are pretty accurate groups. Oriental Orthodoxy, despite being separated from Orthodoxy longer, has done a lot to come closer to Orthodox theology and has retained very similar aesthetics, while maintaining very similar views on ecclesiology and soteriology. Catholicism cannot say any of that, unless we're talking about Uniates/Eastern Rite/Byzantine Rite Catholics. No need to muddy the waters.

It's like if someone mentioned the two political parties in context of a presidential election results, and someone flies in and says, "well just in the republican party alone there's libertarians, neocons, paleocons, although the neocons have more in common with moderate democrats - which in itself is a loaded term as it could refer to corporate democrats..." It's true but it dives into totally useless information given the context, and it's something anyone on this forum is very aware of.
I get that, but isn't it rather muddying the waters by lumping things together, that are different? If you say, that Orthodoxy does not affirm the doctrine of the two natures (given that the Coptic Church always rejected the accusations), which led to a schism, wouldn't it be necessary to put the word Oriental in front of the word Orthodoxy?
I would just make 5-10 general groups instead of only 3.
 
Vatican II made me uncomfortable - Vatican 2 was a good idea. The problem with Vatican 2 has been the implementation and interpretation.

Francis made me uncomfortable - Francis won't be around forever.

Seeing various Popes making freemasonic signs made me uncomfortable - President Trump makes hand gestures that could be interpreted as being Masonic? I wouldn't read too much into the hand gestures that people make when they are communicating.

Learning about JP2's ecumenical prayer meetings made me uncomfortable? (He kissed a Koran... what?) - there's nothing wrong with genuine ecumenism. JP2's heart was in the right place.

Why is JP2 a Saint? - because he was a holy man (even if he made some mistakes).

Why is Paul VI a Saint? - because he was a holy man (even if he made some mistakes).

Why is John the 23rd a Saint? - because he was a holy man (even if he made some mistakes).

The Charismatic Catholic Renewal made me uncomfortable - nobody is compelled to attend Charismatic Catholic Renewal events. There are lots of different groups with different 'charisms' within the Church.

Međugorje made me uncomfortable - EMJ doesn't like Medugorje either. The Medugorje apparitions haven't been endorsed by the Church (unlike Lourdes and Fatima etc).

How can I ever make equal restitution for all my sins? - go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Also, we might have to make further restitution in the next life (purgatory / purification).

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 - keep searching until you find a spiritual director you feel comfortable with. The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) are a strong order and you will find some fantastic priests there - so start looking for your nearest Dominican Church!

Catholics believe that after Pentecost the Catholic Church became the Mystical Body of Christ on this earth. The Church has to go through all the sufferings that Christ went through (violence, betrayal, abandonment etc). It's easy to stick with an organisation during the good times. The Church has had its 'ups and downs' throughout its history and it's still here. The Lord promised that the "gates of hell" wouldn't prevail against HIS Church (Matthew 16: 17-19).
 
Kissing the Koran is NOT "genuine ecumenism" but false ecumenism and syncretistic heresy. Sounds like a lot of cope, tbh. No offense.
It is not even false ecumenism, it is no ecumenism at all. Ecumenism is the aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian Churches, not islamic, buddhist, hindu, jewish synagogues of satan. Kissing the quran is new world order one world religion.
Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux would have burnt him at the stake for that, I'm not even trying to be funny.
 
I think both Milo and Roosh made some excellent points on Roosh Hour #65. And I like Milo's non-combative approach to the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. We are first and foremost brothers in Christ, and much much closer than either one is to Protestantism, for example.

I think a large appeal of Orthodoxy to younger people is based on the weakening of the Catholic Church through various Jewish organizations, internal struggles, and the massive PR problem from sustained anti-Catholic propaganda and attacks. They view Catholicism as unappealingly modern and inauthentic. And they aren't totally wrong. Orthodoxy is old, based, and free of the stain of child abuse and Protestant degeneracy. What's not to like?

I will offer a personal opinion from a Catholic perspective. Forgive my ignorance as I am not very well versed on the history as others may be.
These are just my observations from less of a technical angle and more of a generic cultural one. Hopefully some insight can be gleaned.

Since Rome was the 'center of the ancient universe' in many ways, it's natural that Roman Catholicism would have the same gravitas. The church was historical and central, and (arguably for the Orthodox?) goes back to the foot of the cross. This contributes to the universality of Catholicism, which seems more cohesive and accessible than Orthodoxy. Mainly because of Rome's influence and geographical location (as opposed to Orthodoxy being practiced in far off, remote places like Russia for example...which also imposes an additional language barrier on its mass appeal/accessibility).

There is also a preference for anything from Western Europe, as it seems to be the cradle of civilization in many ways. So to conservative, traditional Italians (and Spanish, Portuguese, French, Germans...) anything East of Greece seemed to be in a heretical, barbarous 'no-man's land'. India, with it's innumerable Gods. Asia, which was mostly Godless and cruel. So something developing in the East would on the surface seem 'wrong' or 'unlikely' to the early Catholic Church. They already sucked all the marrow out of Greece, getting a huge nutrient boost from their reason/philosophy and concept of logos. But there was also a barbaric element to Ancient Greece that the Romans feel they ironed out. The Greeks had long beards for example, and the Romans were clean shaven. Some cultural differences.

So the Holy Roman Empire was the best there was, and the best there could ever be in a sense. Based on this premise, it's natural to perceive anything else as heretical or less than. There is also the issue of redundant ethnic distinctions within the orthodox Church (Greek, Armenian, Russian, Coptic/Egyptian, etc.) and the differences between them. The Catholic Church viewed this as a chaotic fracturing of sorts, and did not proceed in the same manner. It just spread the faith and established other Catholic churches throughout the world. So it's more universal, which is keeping with the message of Christ.

Again, this is not a technical post so I am not going to discuss papal authority or rank various popes throughout history, or get into the differences in saints & sacraments between the churches.

To the OP -- I guess that didn't really address your concerns or answer your questions. But I will say that people of all faiths experience doubt and weakness. Trust in God, and focus on all the good the church has done throughout history. No one is perfect, and we are all fallen. So we can't excuse any sins or the poor leadership of certain priests or bishops over the years. But we can see the big picture.

Just some food for thought.
 
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I think both Milo and Roosh made some excellent points on Roosh Hour #65. And I like Milo's non-combative approach to the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. We are first and foremost brothers in Christ, and much much closer than either one is to Protestantism, for example.

I think a large appeal of Orthodoxy to younger people is based on the weakening of the Catholic Church through various Jewish organizations, internal struggles, and the massive PR problem from sustained anti-Catholic propaganda and attacks. They view Catholicism as unappealingly modern and inauthentic. And they aren't totally wrong. Orthodoxy is old, based, and free of the stain of child abuse and Protestant degeneracy. What's not to like?

I will offer a personal opinion from a Catholic perspective. Forgive my ignorance as I am not very well versed on the history as others may be.
These are just my observations from less of a technical angle and more of a generic cultural one. Hopefully some insight can be gleaned.

Since Rome was the 'center of the ancient universe' in many ways, it's natural that Roman Catholicism would have the same gravitas. The church was historical and central, and (arguably for the Orthodox?) goes back to the foot of the cross. This contributes to the universality of Catholicism, which seems more cohesive and accessible than Orthodoxy. Mainly because of Rome's influence and geographical location (as opposed to Orthodoxy being practiced in far off, remote places like Russia for example...which also imposes an additional language barrier on its mass appeal/accessibility).

There is also a preference for anything from Western Europe, as it seems to be the cradle of civilization in many ways. So to conservative, traditional Italians (and Spanish, Portuguese, French, Germans...) anything East of Greece seemed to be in a heretical, barbarous 'no-man's land'. India, with it's innumerable Gods. Asia, which was mostly Godless and cruel. So something developing in the East would on the surface seem 'wrong' or 'unlikely' to the early Catholic Church. They already sucked all the marrow out of Greece, getting a huge nutrient boost from their reason/philosophy and concept of logos. But there was also a barbaric element to Ancient Greece that the Romans feel they ironed out. The Greeks had long beards for example, and the Romans were clean shaven. Some cultural differences.

So the Holy Roman Empire was the best there was, and the best there could ever be in a sense. Based on this premise, it's natural to perceive anything else as heretical or less than. There is also the issue of redundant ethnic distinctions within the orthodox Church (Greek, Armenian, Russian, Coptic/Egyptian, etc.) and the differences between them. The Catholic Church viewed this as a chaotic fracturing of sorts, and did not proceed in the same manner. It just spread the faith and established other Catholic churches throughout the world. So it's more universal, which is keeping with the message of Christ.

Again, this is not a technical post so I am not going to discuss papal authority or rank various popes throughout history, or get into the differences in saints & sacraments between the churches.

To the OP -- I guess that didn't really address your concerns or answer your questions. But I will say that people of all faiths experience doubt and weakness. Trust in God, and focus on all the good the church has done throughout history. No one is perfect, and we are all fallen. So we can't excuse any sins or the poor leadership of certain priests or bishops over the years. But we can see the big picture.

Just some food for thought.
Greece is not a remote place for Western Europeans and parts of Sicily used to be Eastern Orthodox and even Russia and Serbia were never remote places to Western Christians, the Polish and Croatians lived next door to them. Not to mention that Constantinople was part of the Roman Empire.

Let me address "protestant degeneracy", in another thread someone posted a stat that showed Catholics and Orthodox in America being more tolerant towards gayness and these sort of things than Protestants. Given that modern protestants are anything but "intolerant" Dutch Republic Calvinists, but very laissez faire, still in general they are more based than Catholics and Orthodox.

When it comes to grace, predestination and reprobation, Aquinas has more in common with Calvin than with Palamas, while his sacramental theology is of course closer to Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Filioque is another topic and which is more than semantics as Maximus the Confessor tried to resolve the controversy.

The main reason for the East-West-Schism is that the West followed Augustine, while the East pretty much ignored him. Serious Western theology, may it be Roman Catholic, Calvinist or Lutheran is Augustinian, while the East follows other Fathers.
 
Greece is not a remote place for Western Europeans and parts of Sicily used to be Eastern Orthodox and even Russia and Serbia were never remote places to Western Christians, the Polish and Croatians lived next door to them. Not to mention that Constantinople was part of the Roman Empire.

Let me address "protestant degeneracy", in another thread someone posted a stat that showed Catholics and Orthodox in America being more tolerant towards gayness and these sort of things than Protestants. Given that modern protestants are anything but "intolerant" Dutch Republic Calvinists, but very laissez faire, still in general they are more based than Catholics and Orthodox.

When it comes to grace, predestination and reprobation, Aquinas has more in common with Calvin than with Palamas, while his sacramental theology is of course closer to Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Filioque is another topic and which is more than semantics as Maximus the Confessor tried to resolve the controversy.

The main reason for the East-West-Schism is that the West followed Augustine, while the East pretty much ignored him. Serious Western theology, may it be Roman Catholic, Calvinist or Lutheran is Augustinian, while the East follows other Fathers.
I agree, Greece is very much Western. I specifically stated anything East of Greece in that example.

Yes the empire stretched further, yes there is a strong Catholic culture in Poland, etc. I am speaking generally, and offering possible explanations for certain perceptions. Serbia is very much remote for Western Catholics. Both in antiquity and modern times.

And despite the empire being in -- or brushing up against -- certain places, these places were ultimately conquered by Muslims or abandoned. It's like a company having a head office and smaller satellite offices in other cities. Usually these smaller offices are always slightly out of the loop, have less resources, etc.

And I'm sure it goes the other way with Orthodoxy -- that part of the Orthodox identity is precisely as outsider or rejector of sorts. They don't want to be part of something they view as incorrect, oppressive or heretical.

Not sure I can agree with your point about Protestants being more based...most churches of Protestant denominations I've seen have rainbow flags, female pastors, etc. Not to mention the laser beams and smoke machines. The Catholic and Orthodox masses are similar in their seriousness and traditional approach. They are simply far older than Protestantism.

Cheers
 

Pancras

Sparrow
Vatican 2 was a good idea. The problem with Vatican 2 has been the implementation and interpretation.
First, Vatican II was a disaster — an atom bomb dropped on the Church, whose evil effects have only gotten worse over the years, as is obvious from the following:
Second, what appear to be the principal causes for this decline?
@darknavigator What you are saying, in effect, is that the worldwide Novus Ordo apostasy is not due to the Council, the New Mass, the teachings and actions of the Vatican II “Popes”, etc., but in spite of it all.

This contention is as absurd and laughable as it is historically unsupported. You are simply repeating the old and easily refuted contention that the real problem was that the council was “disobeyed” and “hijacked” afterwards — as though the texts themselves weren’t filled with errors, modernist language, crucial omissions, etc.

Besides, who does you think has been implementing the council since its close in 1965? Who oversaw it? Who has been overseeing its application, especially as regards liturgy, disciplinary laws, and catechesis? Who came out with the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae? Who came out with the 1983 Code of Canon Law? Who came out with the 1992 Universal Catechism? Who came out with the abhorrent 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism? Who gave all this authority to the local bishops? Who rehabilitated and gave a voice to the condemned ‘New Theologians’ that won the day at the council? Who made them “cardinals”? What have we seen from the Vatican, especially by the false “Popes”, if not an application and implementation by the “rightful authority” of the Second Vatican Council?

In 1998, Ralph McInerny published a book entitled What Went Wrong With Vatican II, in which he advanced that same “it wasn’t the council but the bad, disobedient theologians after the council” argument. The book is as thin as the evidence for the thesis itself. With plenty of filler pages, large font, and additional line spacing, the publisher was barely able to scrape together 168 pages for this book. People who want the evidence of what really happened at the council should obtain copies of the following works:

The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by Fr. Ralph Wiltgen (author is Novus Ordo)

The History of Vatican II (5 vols.) by Giuseppe Alberigo et al. (authors are Novus Ordo)

What Happened at Vatican II by Rev. John W. O’Malley (author is Novus Ordo)

In the Murky Waters of Vatican II by Atila Sinke Guimaraes (author is non-sedevacantist traditionalist)

Tumultuous Times by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki (authors are sedevacantists)

Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki (authors are sedevacantists)

No, don’t blame it on “Vatican II has been misunderstood.” This indefensible position has been around for a long time, and the historical evidence simply isn’t there; in fact, it points in the opposite direction. Maintaining this stance is as preposterous as arguing that the epidemic of abortion and out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the United States is due to a lack of sex education.
 
I agree, Greece is very much Western. I specifically stated anything East of Greece in that example.

Yes the empire stretched further, yes there is a strong Catholic culture in Poland, etc. I am speaking generally, and offering possible explanations for certain perceptions. Serbia is very much remote for Western Catholics. Both in antiquity and modern times.

And despite the empire being in -- or brushing up against -- certain places, these places were ultimately conquered by Muslims or abandoned. It's like a company having a head office and smaller satellite offices in other cities. Usually these smaller offices are always slightly out of the loop, have less resources, etc.

And I'm sure it goes the other way with Orthodoxy -- that part of the Orthodox identity is precisely as outsider or rejector of sorts. They don't want to be part of something they view as incorrect, oppressive or heretical.

Not sure I can agree with your point about Protestants being more based...most churches of Protestant denominations I've seen have rainbow flags, female pastors, etc. Not to mention the laser beams and smoke machines. The Catholic and Orthodox masses are similar in their seriousness and traditional approach. They are simply far older than Protestantism.

Cheers
Sure, there are "protestant churches"* with rainbow flags, but even with these fake protestants, protestants are on average socially more conservative, probably the percentage of them living in rural areas is higher.
When I talk about protestant theology, I mean Calvin, John Owen, Bavinck and not some lesbian pastor playing electric guitar.

*subverted pop-culture-"Christianity"

Western theology is based on Augustine, while the Eastern tradition favors other Fathers and the later cornerstone of Roman Catholicism is Aquinas and of Eastern Orthodoxy Palamas, two post-schism theologians.

I mentioned Aquinas and Calvin in regards to predestination, a good read on the topic is "Beyond Dordt and de Auxiliis: The Dynamics of Protestant and Catholic Soteriology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries" - it speaks about the discussions between Calvinists (unconditional election)* and Arminians (conditional election) and between the Dominican Thomists (unconditional election) and Jesuit Molinists (conditional election). The Eastern tradition also believes in conditional election, maybe an Orthodox here can summarize their exact doctrine.

*unconditional election is traditional Augustinianism
 
First, Vatican II was a disaster — an atom bomb dropped on the Church, whose evil effects have only gotten worse over the years, as is obvious from the following:
Second, what appear to be the principal causes for this decline?
@darknavigator What you are saying, in effect, is that the worldwide Novus Ordo apostasy is not due to the Council, the New Mass, the teachings and actions of the Vatican II “Popes”, etc., but in spite of it all.

This contention is as absurd and laughable as it is historically unsupported. You are simply repeating the old and easily refuted contention that the real problem was that the council was “disobeyed” and “hijacked” afterwards — as though the texts themselves weren’t filled with errors, modernist language, crucial omissions, etc.

Besides, who does you think has been implementing the council since its close in 1965? Who oversaw it? Who has been overseeing its application, especially as regards liturgy, disciplinary laws, and catechesis? Who came out with the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae? Who came out with the 1983 Code of Canon Law? Who came out with the 1992 Universal Catechism? Who came out with the abhorrent 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism? Who gave all this authority to the local bishops? Who rehabilitated and gave a voice to the condemned ‘New Theologians’ that won the day at the council? Who made them “cardinals”? What have we seen from the Vatican, especially by the false “Popes”, if not an application and implementation by the “rightful authority” of the Second Vatican Council?

In 1998, Ralph McInerny published a book entitled What Went Wrong With Vatican II, in which he advanced that same “it wasn’t the council but the bad, disobedient theologians after the council” argument. The book is as thin as the evidence for the thesis itself. With plenty of filler pages, large font, and additional line spacing, the publisher was barely able to scrape together 168 pages for this book. People who want the evidence of what really happened at the council should obtain copies of the following works:

The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by Fr. Ralph Wiltgen (author is Novus Ordo)

The History of Vatican II (5 vols.) by Giuseppe Alberigo et al. (authors are Novus Ordo)

What Happened at Vatican II by Rev. John W. O’Malley (author is Novus Ordo)

In the Murky Waters of Vatican II by Atila Sinke Guimaraes (author is non-sedevacantist traditionalist)

Tumultuous Times by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki (authors are sedevacantists)

Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki (authors are sedevacantists)

No, don’t blame it on “Vatican II has been misunderstood.” This indefensible position has been around for a long time, and the historical evidence simply isn’t there; in fact, it points in the opposite direction. Maintaining this stance is as preposterous as arguing that the epidemic of abortion and out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the United States is due to a lack of sex education.
Even if the thesis were correct, it would mean, that modernist Roman Catholics and non-Roman Catholics could pervert Roman Catholic teaching against the will of the leadership of the Church, which also would be devastating. In both cases, you have a mess. As a Protestant, I am not the biggest fan of Trent, but the Roman Catholic Church should return to it.
 
Sure, there are "protestant churches"* with rainbow flags, but even with these fake protestants, protestants are on average socially more conservative, probably the percentage of them living in rural areas is higher.
When I talk about protestant theology, I mean Calvin, John Owen, Bavinck and not some lesbian pastor playing electric guitar.

*subverted pop-culture-"Christianity"

Western theology is based on Augustine, while the Eastern tradition favors other Fathers and the later cornerstone of Roman Catholicism is Aquinas and of Eastern Orthodoxy Palamas, two post-schism theologians.

I mentioned Aquinas and Calvin in regards to predestination, a good read on the topic is "Beyond Dordt and de Auxiliis: The Dynamics of Protestant and Catholic Soteriology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries" - it speaks about the discussions between Calvinists (unconditional election)* and Arminians (conditional election) and between the Dominican Thomists (unconditional election) and Jesuit Molinists (conditional election). The Eastern tradition also believes in conditional election, maybe an Orthodox here can summarize their exact doctrine.

*unconditional election is traditional Augustinianism
LOL @ "lesbian pastor playing guitar"
I will try to unstick that image from my head
 
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.
Well, when Padre Pio prophesied it things probably looked a bit different. But still, I was not meaning to say that it was anything impressive, merely that the distressing state of things at the vatican does not necessarily mean that the church is completely fallen, the Lord always keeps a remnant for Himself.
 
Well, when Padre Pio prophesied it things probably looked a bit different. But still, I was not meaning to say that it was anything impressive, merely that the distressing state of things at the vatican does not necessarily mean that the church is completely fallen, the Lord always keeps a remnant for Himself.
No matter what tradition someone belongs to, in a way people should cherish all that subversion, because it is God's way of telling Christians: Now you have to take a stand.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
*unconditional election is traditional Augustinianism

Calvinism's TULIP doctrine is a complete perversion of St Augustine.

maybe an Orthodox here can summarize their exact doctrine.

From Dr Johnson's In Regione Caecorum Rex est Luscus: Essays on Medieval Political Philosophy, I've also previously cited part of this chapter in the post here

Predestination is, of course, connected with Original Sin. It is argued that Luther, being an Augustinian, took the doctor's doctrine literally and made it the center of Lutheranism. Augustine does not believe in predestination because he accepts and argues vehemently for free will. He writes,

"Now he has revealed to us, through His Holy Scriptures, that there is in man a free choice of will. But how He has revealed this I do not recount in human language, but in divine. There is, to begin with, the fact that God's precepts themselves would be of no use to a man unless he had free choice of will, so that by performing them he might obtain the promised rewards. For they are given that no one might be able to plead the excuse of ignorance, as the Lord says concerning the Jews in the gospel: If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin."

These two doctrines cannot exist at the same time. Now, God knows not only the future, but all possible routes that human action can take and all their consequences. None of that has any bearing on the actions of a man relative to the moral law. This is also the Orthodox position and is inherent in the term "omniscient." To the extent that God is such, predestination - though not free will as such - is inherently the case. Man's lack of knowledge is sufficient for predestination to not only be false, but irrelevant for men. Otherwise you have to argue that God is ignorant of these facts.

In his De Gratia Christi Augustine states: "For not only has God given us our ability and helps it, but He even works [to assist] willing and acting in us; not that we do not will or that we do not act, but that without His help we neither will anything good nor do it (Augustine, 25-26). This is also Orthodox doctrine.
Orthodox people attack the Catholic conception of "earning salvation" and "merits" This view of "predestination" can be the only other alternative. The west is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

In the City of God, he writes: Hence there is a condemned mass of the whole human race . . . . so that no one would be freed from this just and due punishment except by mercy and undue grace: and so the human race is divided [into two parts] so that in some it may be shown what merciful grace can do, in others, what just vengeance can do . . . . In it [punishment] there are many more than in [mercy] so that in this way there may be shown what is due to all (Augustine, 21: 12).

The eastern Fathers thought the same

Dr Johnson goes on to quote St Clement of Alexandria, St John Chrysostom, St Justin Martyr and Pope Leo the Great. Continuing after this,

Hundreds more of these can be cited. From these, one can easily realize that Augustine was perfectly in line with the Greek Fathers. All of these men firmly believed in a limited conception of free will, yet they also speak of predestination. This is hardly surprising. It is true that Latin was not the best language for this sort of writing, especially in the Roman era, but that this is not noticed by those attacking him suggests the level of understanding being employed.
The church Fathers were educated in Greek and Roman classics, masters of the Greek and Latin languages while saturated in the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle. The Orthodox church is immensely Platonic in its metaphysics, something equally foreordained by God. Its no accident that Christ came at the height of the Roman empire, where the Greek intellectual tradition was intimately known to all educated persons.
It is also not an accident that Christ is from Galilee, or Decapolis, a heavily Greek part of eastern Rome. The boundaries of Europe were very different than they are in 2020. The culture in which Christ was born was a Greek one. Therefore, Greek philosophy and metaphysics - not some vague "paganism" - was the intellectual context of the New Testament. Like the others, Augustine used the best of ancient philosophy and the politics of his day - providentially determined to spread the faith - with Christ's showing himself to man.
Ultimately, free will is the result of struggle, not some inborn faculty. It is almost impossible to reach without grace. While its theoretically possible to think freely, human passions are usually too great and distort both the perception and understanding of the world. Free will doesn't exist except through struggle and prayer as only the saints know perfect freedom in Truth. The entire purpose of the ascetic life is freedom, that is, freedom from heteronomous elements such as self interest and other vices

Hope this gives you some insight to Orthodoxy.
 
Calvinism's TULIP doctrine is a complete perversion of St Augustine.



From Dr Johnson's In Regione Caecorum Rex est Luscus: Essays on Medieval Political Philosophy, I've also previously cited part of this chapter in the post here



Dr Johnson goes on to quote St Clement of Alexandria, St John Chrysostom, St Justin Martyr and Pope Leo the Great. Continuing after this,




Hope this gives you some insight to Orthodoxy.
Why don't you quote De gratia et libero arbitrio and De correptione et gratia? Read these two works yourself and you will agree with me, that Dr. Johnson is not to be taken seriously. Please, read them.

Here is Aquinas, read reply to objection 3 in article 5.

Let me quote: Yet why He chooses some for glory, and reprobates others, has no reason, except the divine will. Whence Augustine says (Tract. xxvi. in Joan.): "Why He draws one, and another He draws not, seek not to judge, if thou dost not wish to err."

And then read article 16 of the Belgic Confession.

Note: I do not argue for or against any doctrine here, I just want to show, that Luther and Calvin did not invent their doctrines of predestination out of the blue air, but that Augustine and Aquinas had similar views.
 
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Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
Why don't you quote De gratia et libero arbitrio and De correptione et gratia? Read these two works yourself and you will agree with me, that Dr. Johnson is not to be taken seriously. Please, read them.

Here is Aquinas, read reply to objection 3 in article 5.

Let me quote: Yet why He chooses some for glory, and reprobates others, has no reason, except the divine will. Whence Augustine says (Tract. xxvi. in Joan.): "Why He draws one, and another He draws not, seek not to judge, if thou dost not wish to err."

And then read article 16 of the Belgic Confession.

Note: I do not argue for or against any doctrine here, I just want to show, that Luther and Calvin did not invent their doctrines of predestination out of the blue air, but that Augustine and Aquinas had similar views.
I once was asked by a Protty if us Orthodox were Calvinist or Arminian. I simply said, Yes.
 
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