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

I once was asked by a Protty if us Orthodox were Calvinist or Arminian. I simply said, Yes.
There was actually an Eastern Orthodox synod on the topic in 1672 in Jerusalem.
The Confession of Dositheus rules out unconditional election, which is what Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin taught, and it rules out conditional election through faith alone, which is the Arminian doctrine.
As far as I understand it, that synod teaches predestination on the grounds of foreseen faith and works.
 

Dijkstra

Pigeon
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.

I can wholly relate to this, I have been embattled with my own demons and a slave to my own sins for a very long time in my very short life, all the while being a "Christian" nominally. After the immaturity of "I don't like being the focus of attention" went away, Satan used that very feeling of shame and unworthiness to keep me from baptism many years. By God's grace alone that was corrected about two months ago.

You are so very correct. We can never pay back the gift He gave us. God wants our repentance, not restitution. He wants us to serve out of love, not duty.
 
I can wholly relate to this, I have been embattled with my own demons and a slave to my own sins for a very long time in my very short life, all the while being a "Christian" nominally. After the immaturity of "I don't like being the focus of attention" went away, Satan used that very feeling of shame and unworthiness to keep me from baptism many years. By God's grace alone that was corrected about two months ago.

You are so very correct. We can never pay back the gift He gave us. God wants our repentance, not restitution. He wants us to serve out of love, not duty.
Allow me to be a smart aleck, love is a Christian duty.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
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.

Never claimed they invented doctrine out of blue air. I said TULIP is a distortion. You cannot take a book written many years ago, by a saint, to fight against those who believed Original/Ancestral sin had no effect on man, and could achieve perfection without God's help, and create an entire religion around that document. (T) Total Depravity goes too far as it implies a total separation from God. (U) distorts human participation in salvation. (L) is wrong because we don't have a legal problem. God is not autistic, and salvation is not like that. (I) denies free will (P) I don't have a problem with this in the sense that God is aware of who will reject, and who will accept his teachings, and that God will grant you strength to endure if you ask, but I'm not about to deny that God knows who will ultimately reject, and who will accept him.

There's an element of predestination as God is omniscient, but to remove any human will makes this all an absurd theater in which God is a monster for subjecting people to torment for the way he made them. It's the exaggeration and distortion Orthodoxy rejects. Let's take a look at the document you suggested I read, De gratia et libero arbitrio. Read the accompanying letter. At the very opening he says,

1. Two young men, Cresconius and Felix, have found their way to us, and, introducing themselves as belonging to your brotherhood, have told us that your monastery was disturbed with no small commotion, because certain amongst you preach grace in such a manner as to deny that the will of man is free; and maintain—a more serious matter—that in the day of judgment God will not render to every man according to his works. 2916 At the same time, they have pointed out to us, that many of you do not entertain this opinion, but allow that free will is assisted by the grace of God, so as that we may think and do aright; so that, when the Lord shall come to render unto every man according to his works,2917 He shall find those works of ours good which God has prepared in order that we may walk in them.2918 They who think this think rightly.

I could quote all of Chapter 4 of that document to illustrate this same thing. but it's senseless to do so. The majority of this document deals with predestination, yes, but that's because it was to do with the error in exaggerating free will, Calvinism takes the exact opposite stance of the Pelagians. The opposite of a wrong position is still wrong, as it's wrong to eat yourself into obesity, and equally wrong to entirely starve yourself. Christianity is the narrow middle path of action which is often very difficult.

But to show that (L) Limited Atonement in TULIP is wrong, and not what St Augustine taught, in that same document,

{quote]
On which account we must consider with diligence and attention in what respect those pairs differ from one another,—to be able not to sin, and not to be able to sin; to be able not to die, and not to be able to die; to be able not to forsake good, and not to be able to forsake good. For the first man was able not to sin, was able not to die, was able not to forsake good. Are we to say that he who had such a free will could not sin? Or that he to whom it was said, “If thou shalt sin thou shalt die by death,” could not die? Or that he could not forsake good, when he would forsake this by sinning, and so die? Therefore the first liberty of the will was to be able not to sin, the last will be much greater, not to be able to sin; the first immortality was to be able not to die, the last will be much greater, not to be able to die; the first was the power of perseverance, to be able not to forsake good—the last will be the felicity of perseverance, not to be able to forsake good. But because the last blessings will be preferable and better, were those first ones, therefore, either no blessings at all, or trifling ones? [/quote]

There's no distinction in place between heaven and hell, we're all going to the same place, and that's why it's not a saved/unsaved binary distinction. What's going to be different, is how people perceive it. Those who are accustomed to evil, will hate to be forced to be in the presense of good eternally. On the opposite side, those accustomed to good, will love to be in the presence of good eternally, and that will be perceived as heaven. This world is an arena, in which our disposition is sorted out. This is why we're mortal. If we were not mortal, we would not be changeable. I strongly recommend people read the work of St Basil the Great "On the Human Condition", As it is the book I wish I had when I was younger.

I don't fault Calvin for viewing salvation as a legal problem, as he was a lawyer, and it's part of the Roman Catholic mindset in which he operated. Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and will contain errors because of it.
 
Last edited:
Never claimed they invented doctrine out of blue air. I said TULIP is a distortion. You cannot take a book written many years ago, by a saint, to fight against those who believed Original/Ancestral sin had no effect on man, and could achieve perfection without God's help, and create an entire religion around that document. (T) Total Depravity goes too far as it implies a total separation from God. (U) distorts human participation in salvation. (L) is wrong because we don't have a legal problem. God is not autistic, and salvation is not like that. (I) denies free will (P) I don't have a problem with this in the sense that God is aware of who will reject, and who will accept his teachings, and that God will grant you strength to endure if you ask, but I'm not about to deny that God knows who will ultimately reject, and who will accept him.

There's an element of predestination as God is omniscient, but to remove any human will makes this all an absurd theater in which God is a monster for subjecting people to torment for the way he made them. It's the exaggeration and distortion Orthodoxy rejects. Let's take a look at the document you suggested I read, De gratia et libero arbitrio. Read the accompanying letter. At the very opening he says,



I could quote all of Chapter 4 of that document to illustrate this same thing. but it's senseless to do so. The majority of this document deals with predestination, yes, but that's because it was to do with the error in exaggerating free will, Calvinism takes the exact opposite stance of the Pelagians. The opposite of a wrong position is still wrong, as it's wrong to eat yourself into obesity, and equally wrong to entirely starve yourself. Christianity is the narrow middle path of action which is often very difficult.

But to show that (L) Limited Atonement in TULIP is wrong, and not what St Augustine taught, in that same document,

{quote]
On which account we must consider with diligence and attention in what respect those pairs differ from one another,—to be able not to sin, and not to be able to sin; to be able not to die, and not to be able to die; to be able not to forsake good, and not to be able to forsake good. For the first man was able not to sin, was able not to die, was able not to forsake good. Are we to say that he who had such a free will could not sin? Or that he to whom it was said, “If thou shalt sin thou shalt die by death,” could not die? Or that he could not forsake good, when he would forsake this by sinning, and so die? Therefore the first liberty of the will was to be able not to sin, the last will be much greater, not to be able to sin; the first immortality was to be able not to die, the last will be much greater, not to be able to die; the first was the power of perseverance, to be able not to forsake good—the last will be the felicity of perseverance, not to be able to forsake good. But because the last blessings will be preferable and better, were those first ones, therefore, either no blessings at all, or trifling ones?

There's no distinction in place between heaven and hell, we're all going to the same place, and that's why it's not a saved/unsaved binary distinction. What's going to be different, is how people perceive it. Those who are accustomed to evil, will hate to be forced to be in the presense of good eternally. On the opposite side, those accustomed to good, will love to be in the presence of good eternally, and that will be perceived as heaven. This world is an arena, in which our disposition is sorted out. This is why we're mortal. If we were not mortal, we would not be changeable. I strongly recommend people read the work of St Basil the Great "On the Human Condition", As it is the book I wish I had when I was younger.

I don't fault Calvin for viewing salvation as a legal problem, as he was a lawyer, and it's part of the Roman Catholic mindset in which he operated. Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and will contain errors because of it.
[/QUOTE]

I did not talk about TULIP. You quoted this Dr. Johnson, who said, that Augustine did not believe in predestination at all. I just spoke about unconditional election and gave you two examples, one by Aquinas, who quotes Augustine, the other article 16 of the Belgic Confession. Sure, the Belgic Confession is Calvinist, but my point of interest was just unconditional election.

(The quoting function seems to bug)
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I did not talk about TULIP.
it speaks about the discussions between Calvinists (unconditional election)*
*unconditional election is traditional Augustinianism

Quoting the "U" of the TULIP acronym is why I mentioned it, I'm familiar with Calvinism because it was my last step as a Protestant. and I mentioned it in whole because it's not only the "U' that is wrong, "TULI" is wrong and "P" is conditionally okay as mentioned above. It's a perversion of St Augustine's belief because it's taken out of the context of the whole.

You quoted this Dr. Johnson, who said, that Augustine did not believe in predestination at all.

He's talking about St Augustine wrongly being attributed as the source of double predestination. The entire chapter is dedicated to rehabilitating St Augustine in the eyes of the Orthodox, since he's used to justify both the Roman Catholicism's Filoque and Calvinism's double predestination. (Which is "Unconditional Election" by another name).

This is why he says towards the end of his chapter, as I quoted in that same post to make it clear;

"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."

Perhaps it's my error, and I should have quoted these two paragraphs early into the chapter: *my own footnote for context

To his Orthodox critics: you don't know better than the Fathers of this Synod do*. You claim to be dedicated to the Synods. Unless, usually, they refer to usury, Augustine or economics. Then, suddenly, you have "explanations" as to why the Fathers are to be ignored. Augustine is singled out above and beyond the other Fathers for his letters on various issues. Still, you're not impressed.
Normally, Augustine is attacked for two main reasons: the first is that he "invented" the filioque doctrine. That is, the error that the Holy Spirit is generated both by the Father and the Son at the same time. The second, in one form or another, is that Augustine believes in predestination and hence, both overplays original sin and rejects free will. These are the essential problems, though there are many others that have cropped up in Orthodox circles over the years.

*Referring to the Fifth Ecumenical Council in which St. Augustine is directly praised for his letters

Dr Johnson typically spares no-one due to ignorance, no matter whether the person is Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant. He's also an Orthodox priest and other Orthodox clergy who disagreed with him over political stances tried to get him defrocked. He's an enemy of falsehood no matter who says it.
 

Charbel Makhlouf

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
An update of sorts:

My health remains poor, but I've been attending a local ROCOR parish for the last 2 months or so and receiving guidance from the priest. Father suggested I move as close to the parish as possible and attend all the services I can. Shortly after his suggestion, a townhouse became available 2 minutes walking distance from the parish so I put in my offer and fortunately it came out on top. I close on the place in early December.

I've read a great deal about Orthodoxy and I'm convinced it is the true Church established by Christ.

The liturgies and the vigils are physically demanding and I haven't been able to attend all of them (or make it through all of them). But I very much enjoy vespers and the study group that happens afterwards. I even met a new friend who lives in the town I live in now (an hour away from Church). He is not Orthodox, but he is seeking Christ and he's been a blessing in so many ways.

Our parish is blessed to have the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos for 4 days this week. Father offered to bless my new townhouse with the icon and God smiled on me favorably and I was able to arrange that through my real estate agent even though I don't take possession of the place until December. Father took the icon through my townhouse this morning and I feel so blessed to know that such a holy icon has blessed my future home.

After Father blessed my future home, he asked me if I was ready to become a catechumen and I told him I was. He prayed the prayer over me to make me a catechumen and thus my journey continues :)

(he also told me to stop shaving my head, as I guess I need to have some hair for tonsure purposes when I'm baptized. That'll take a bite out of my pride as my balding pate looks terrible with any hair, but I suppose I need to stop chasing vain appearances. I'm far too sick to have a wife in the state I am in anyway.)
 

Cavalier

Sparrow
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.
At the time of the schism most of Europe was illiterate and semi barbaric. Large areas were pagan. Contrast that with the still existent Roman Empire of the East which was educated, cultured and fully Christian. There were 5 ancient Patriarchates of which Rome was one. The other Patriarchates Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria were still in existence at the time of the schism though diminished in influence due to Moslem conquest. In fact these Patriarchates still exist.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
An update of sorts:

My health remains poor, but I've been attending a local ROCOR parish for the last 2 months or so and receiving guidance from the priest. Father suggested I move as close to the parish as possible and attend all the services I can. Shortly after his suggestion, a townhouse became available 2 minutes walking distance from the parish so I put in my offer and fortunately it came out on top. I close on the place in early December.

I've read a great deal about Orthodoxy and I'm convinced it is the true Church established by Christ.

The liturgies and the vigils are physically demanding and I haven't been able to attend all of them (or make it through all of them). But I very much enjoy vespers and the study group that happens afterwards. I even met a new friend who lives in the town I live in now (an hour away from Church). He is not Orthodox, but he is seeking Christ and he's been a blessing in so many ways.

Our parish is blessed to have the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos for 4 days this week. Father offered to bless my new townhouse with the icon and God smiled on me favorably and I was able to arrange that through my real estate agent even though I don't take possession of the place until December. Father took the icon through my townhouse this morning and I feel so blessed to know that such a holy icon has blessed my future home.

After Father blessed my future home, he asked me if I was ready to become a catechumen and I told him I was. He prayed the prayer over me to make me a catechumen and thus my journey continues :)

(he also told me to stop shaving my head, as I guess I need to have some hair for tonsure purposes when I'm baptized. That'll take a bite out of my pride as my balding pate looks terrible with any hair, but I suppose I need to stop chasing vain appearances. I'm far too sick to have a wife in the state I am in anyway.)
It sounds like you are beyond the most recent crisis point but one piece of advice I'd give is to not let yourself fall into a state of mental chaos. When you are assailed by many questions don't feel you need to find the answer straight away. Resist constantly mulling things over in your head and trying to come up with your own logical escape route out of the situation. I have done and do that all the time, its a sign of egotism and a lack of faith. We want things to turn out as we think they should and when we think they should. Instead try to give yourself over to the providence of God and nurture your prayer life. No need to go overboard trying to force God's hand by playing the ascetic either.

Here's a nice letter by St Joseph the Hesychast on patient endurance:

 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
An update of sorts:

My health remains poor, but I've been attending a local ROCOR parish for the last 2 months or so and receiving guidance from the priest. Father suggested I move as close to the parish as possible and attend all the services I can. Shortly after his suggestion, a townhouse became available 2 minutes walking distance from the parish so I put in my offer and fortunately it came out on top. I close on the place in early December.

I've read a great deal about Orthodoxy and I'm convinced it is the true Church established by Christ.

The liturgies and the vigils are physically demanding and I haven't been able to attend all of them (or make it through all of them). But I very much enjoy vespers and the study group that happens afterwards. I even met a new friend who lives in the town I live in now (an hour away from Church). He is not Orthodox, but he is seeking Christ and he's been a blessing in so many ways.

Our parish is blessed to have the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos for 4 days this week. Father offered to bless my new townhouse with the icon and God smiled on me favorably and I was able to arrange that through my real estate agent even though I don't take possession of the place until December. Father took the icon through my townhouse this morning and I feel so blessed to know that such a holy icon has blessed my future home.

After Father blessed my future home, he asked me if I was ready to become a catechumen and I told him I was. He prayed the prayer over me to make me a catechumen and thus my journey continues :)

(he also told me to stop shaving my head, as I guess I need to have some hair for tonsure purposes when I'm baptized. That'll take a bite out of my pride as my balding pate looks terrible with any hair, but I suppose I need to stop chasing vain appearances. I'm far too sick to have a wife in the state I am in anyway.)
Glory to God! Congratulations on taking your next step in your journey. God Bless you!
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
An update of sorts:

My health remains poor, but I've been attending a local ROCOR parish for the last 2 months or so and receiving guidance from the priest. Father suggested I move as close to the parish as possible and attend all the services I can. Shortly after his suggestion, a townhouse became available 2 minutes walking distance from the parish so I put in my offer and fortunately it came out on top. I close on the place in early December.

I've read a great deal about Orthodoxy and I'm convinced it is the true Church established by Christ.

The liturgies and the vigils are physically demanding and I haven't been able to attend all of them (or make it through all of them). But I very much enjoy vespers and the study group that happens afterwards. I even met a new friend who lives in the town I live in now (an hour away from Church). He is not Orthodox, but he is seeking Christ and he's been a blessing in so many ways.

Our parish is blessed to have the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos for 4 days this week. Father offered to bless my new townhouse with the icon and God smiled on me favorably and I was able to arrange that through my real estate agent even though I don't take possession of the place until December. Father took the icon through my townhouse this morning and I feel so blessed to know that such a holy icon has blessed my future home.

After Father blessed my future home, he asked me if I was ready to become a catechumen and I told him I was. He prayed the prayer over me to make me a catechumen and thus my journey continues :)

(he also told me to stop shaving my head, as I guess I need to have some hair for tonsure purposes when I'm baptized. That'll take a bite out of my pride as my balding pate looks terrible with any hair, but I suppose I need to stop chasing vain appearances. I'm far too sick to have a wife in the state I am in anyway.)
Glory to God! If it’s any consolation, my shaved head resulted in getting a “beard trim” for my tonsure. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but I didn’t have much of a choice…in any case, may God continue to bless and guide you in your journey.
 
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 don't know enough about the history to know if this is true, but in one of his books EMJ says that Pope Pius XII was convinced, on the basis of a suggestion by a very conservative cardinal (I think Cardinal Ottaviani, if memory serves), that a second Vatican Council was necessary because the modern world had changed a great deal, new errors were flourishing, and the papacy needed to convene a council to clearly and unambiguously condemn these new errors, and clearly state the eternal truth of the Church to guide contemporary Catholics in the new context of the post-WW2 world and guide and protect them. However, John XXIII did not have the uncompromising clarity of his predecessor, and when the council was actually convened by Pius XII's successor, the conservative hardliner (I think Ottaviani?) who had originally suggested the idea was dismayed that the council was hijacked by liberals who wanted to do exactly the opposite, to "open the church to the world." In the end, the radical liberals were prevented (I would argue by the Holy Spirit) from going as far as they wanted to, and the end product was a compromise, a set of documents full of dangerously ambiguous formulations, which lacked the sternness and clarity which had been characteristic of papal pronouncements and general councils for centuries.

If EMJ's story is true (I can't remember the book in which it appeared as I've read so much of his stuff), then Vatican 2 was originally a good idea when it was proposed by Ottaviani to Pius XII, but it was hijacked in a dangerous way by (CIA backed?) liberals who wanted to turn it in the exact opposite, and what they ended up with was a compromise full of imprudent and ambiguous formulations, some of which have wrought serious spiritual harm.

I'm not sufficiently learned to comment on all the details of what happened since the 1950s, but as a traditionalist Catholic who believes that the Catholic Church is the One True Church, which for that very reason is especially hated by Satan and against which the Evil One directs his most furious efforts, I believe that something like this could happen, especially if we are gradually approaching the End Times.
 
I don't know enough about the history to know if this is true, but in one of his books EMJ says that Pope Pius XII was convinced, on the basis of a suggestion by a very conservative cardinal (I think Cardinal Ottaviani, if memory serves), that a second Vatican Council was necessary because the modern world had changed a great deal, new errors were flourishing, and the papacy needed to convene a council to clearly and unambiguously condemn these new errors, and clearly state the eternal truth of the Church to guide contemporary Catholics in the new context of the post-WW2 world and guide and protect them. However, John XXIII did not have the uncompromising clarity of his predecessor, and when the council was actually convened by Pius XII's successor, the conservative hardliner (I think Ottaviani?) who had originally suggested the idea was dismayed that the council was hijacked by liberals who wanted to do exactly the opposite, to "open the church to the world." In the end, the radical liberals were prevented (I would argue by the Holy Spirit) from going as far as they wanted to, and the end product was a compromise, a set of documents full of dangerously ambiguous formulations, which lacked the sternness and clarity which had been characteristic of papal pronouncements and general councils for centuries.

If EMJ's story is true (I can't remember the book in which it appeared as I've read so much of his stuff), then Vatican 2 was originally a good idea when it was proposed by Ottaviani to Pius XII, but it was hijacked in a dangerous way by (CIA backed?) liberals who wanted to turn it in the exact opposite, and what they ended up with was a compromise full of imprudent and ambiguous formulations, some of which have wrought serious spiritual harm.

I'm not sufficiently learned to comment on all the details of what happened since the 1950s, but as a traditionalist Catholic who believes that the Catholic Church is the One True Church, which for that very reason is especially hated by Satan and against which the Evil One directs his most furious efforts, I believe that something like this could happen, especially if we are gradually approaching the End Times.
Interesting perspective
 
As a Catholic, I won’t “argue” against an Orthodox. All criticisms of the Church made in detail and good faith are probably valid and quite dispiriting.

God bless your journey. I pray the Jesus Prayer and “argue for” the Apostolic, liturgical way of life.
 

Kadikoy

Chicken
Orthodox
An update of sorts:

My health remains poor, but I've been attending a local ROCOR parish for the last 2 months or so and receiving guidance from the priest. Father suggested I move as close to the parish as possible and attend all the services I can. Shortly after his suggestion, a townhouse became available 2 minutes walking distance from the parish so I put in my offer and fortunately it came out on top. I close on the place in early December.

I've read a great deal about Orthodoxy and I'm convinced it is the true Church established by Christ.

The liturgies and the vigils are physically demanding and I haven't been able to attend all of them (or make it through all of them). But I very much enjoy vespers and the study group that happens afterwards. I even met a new friend who lives in the town I live in now (an hour away from Church). He is not Orthodox, but he is seeking Christ and he's been a blessing in so many ways.

Our parish is blessed to have the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos for 4 days this week. Father offered to bless my new townhouse with the icon and God smiled on me favorably and I was able to arrange that through my real estate agent even though I don't take possession of the place until December. Father took the icon through my townhouse this morning and I feel so blessed to know that such a holy icon has blessed my future home.

After Father blessed my future home, he asked me if I was ready to become a catechumen and I told him I was. He prayed the prayer over me to make me a catechumen and thus my journey continues :)

(he also told me to stop shaving my head, as I guess I need to have some hair for tonsure purposes when I'm baptized. That'll take a bite out of my pride as my balding pate looks terrible with any hair, but I suppose I need to stop chasing vain appearances. I'm far too sick to have a wife in the state I am in anyway.)
Praise be to God. Welcome Home!
 

paternos

Pigeon
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.
Hi man,

I totally feel you, great you're so open.

What I see in your post is that you see clearly what's wrong.

How I see it is that everywhere we find sin and the devil, we see a pope all humanist, all internationalist, it makes we me think church can be so much more.

But then I think of Martin Luther and his march to Rome and founding his own church, what came out of it? Protestantism. A solution to create the personal desire in faith. I believe it's sin. Making yourself god. Hubris.

Somewhere deep inside I know, I don't know it. God comes in mysterious ways. Even though it seems the sin is everywhere, it might not be fully true.

What I also know is that Catholicism is the church of christ. It has age. It has diversity. Currently I'm reading a lot into benedict and spent some time in a Benedictine monastery. Getting down to basics. Stability, obedience.

Just share your doubts, your desperateness, your desires in prayer and ask for his wisdom.

A prayer for you brother,
 

Trewolla

Sparrow
Like a lot of young men, I went through a fairly hedonistic period in my life. I liked the company of women and devoted a significant amount of my energy to the pursuit of them.

I have a lot of regrets concerning my behavior during that phase of my life that doesn't have anything to do with my relationship with God. I regret my behavior during that time simply because of what it says about who I was at the time.

Now that I'm working on developing my spiritual life, repentance for that time in my life is genuine and comes very easy and very naturally.

It's difficult to know what your regrets in life will be when you're a young man. My advice is that young men should think about what they're doing and try to understand how they're going to look back on it once they're older and more settled.

I'll admit that it's not easy to do. A big part of a young man's life is going to result in regrets later in life. But I don't believe that God is going to hold those things against you that you generally regret.

Honest regret is genuine repentance.
 
Top