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Pope Francis Endorses Same-Sex Civil Unions

Lepanto

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I am confused and don't really understand. Why should a Pope say such things? It doesn't make any sense to me. It is probably best to just not read any news these days.
 

RaphaCam

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The Wheel, spring/ summer edition
Foreword
Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
On same sex love
Metropolitan Kallistos's words are still an isolated event, plus he doesn't explicitly support it, he just commits a fallacy of false equivalence by continuously implying that the issue of homosexuality and Orthodoxy is unclear. That's what Fr. James Martin has been doing for ages in the Catholic side. Also, the Metropolitan is an intellectual type, I'm more worried about hierarchs that are more politically engaged (and by that I mean specially ecclesial politics), but please let us not go there.
 

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I am confused and don't really understand. Why should a Pope say such things? It doesn't make any sense to me. It is probably best to just not read any news these days.
I’ve pretty much done this the whole of this year and it’s been peaceful. Just live your life simply and pray and try your best to live the faith. One day back on the news and back to this craziness. Nope I’m alright.
 

Deacon Lance

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Absolutely not! Unión convivencial and unión civil are two names for the same Argentine law institute. Convivencia can indeed mean "co-existence", but it also means (even literally) "cohabitation". Convivencia civil is just a mash-up of both names, and it's not about basic rights because there are already laws protecting people who cannot be married but are living as a couple anyway: they're in unión concubinaria, not unión civil! Anything beyond this would not only be speculative legalistic coping, but also objectively wrong. Whichever Vatican II shills are publishing otherwise should add someone with more than high school Spanish to their ranks.

But you don't have to take my word for it, the Archbishop of La Plata (and former Pope's suffragan) Don Víctor Manuel Fernández, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, not only confirmed it, but went well beyond:


There's no loophole around this. It is what it is. I'm not bantering you guys for Schadenfreude: this seriously worries me because we Orthodox are next in line, and I'm sure some high-ranking figures among our clergy are jealous that they have to hide their agreement with the Pope.
You have confused my intent with that of Wandile. The Pope most certainly was speaking of civil unions and I agree with him. People have the right to make contracts in secular democratic countries. That is what a civil union, gay or straight, is as far as the government is concerned. The Church can only bless the civil union of a man and woman and raise it to the status of sacrament. I see no problem. If we complain about Muslim countries forcing their sharia on Christians we cannot then turn around and ask that our doctrine dictate civil law.
 
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RaphaCam

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You have confused my intent with that of Wandile. The Pope most certainly was speaking of civil unions and I agree with him.
That's true, I'm sorry. The article only fact-checks this "civil coexistence" hoax in the end and I honestly didn't bother reading all of it.

People have the right to make contracts in secular democratic countries. That is what a civil union, gay or straight, is as far as the government is concerned. The Church can only bless the civil union of a man and woman and raise it to the status of sacrament. I see no problem. If we complain about Muslim countries forcing their sharia on Christians we cannot then turn around and ask that our doctrine dictate civil law.
Even though I fundamentally disagree that our Christian morals shouldn't interfere with the matters of a secular state (and here I'm siding with the Neo-Marxist Atheist Habermas against Rawls's naïve state-sponsored Agnosticism Americans traditionally love to embrace), I'm aware that sometimes justice involves turning a blind eye to immoral behaviour that doesn't hurt third parties.

Perhaps that's the case for homosexual civil unions, at least in some countries nowadays. However, anyone who honestly doesn't see anything strange in the self-claimed representative of God on Earth publicly stating that the general public should turn a blind eye to mortal sin doing public policy is too high on secularism.

BTW, if we could make all of our civil law Shariah-based while not importing literally anything else from Islam, I'd love it. Yes, let's get rid of guiltless divorce and usury while making consensus great again. I don't know why you make it sound like it's a bad idea.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Absolutely not! Unión convivencial and unión civil are two names for the same Argentine law institute. Convivencia can indeed mean "co-existence", but it also means (even literally) "cohabitation". Convivencia civil is just a mash-up of both names, and it's not about basic rights because there are already laws protecting people who cannot be married but are living as a couple anyway: they're in unión concubinaria, not unión civil! Anything beyond this would not only be speculative legalistic coping, but also objectively wrong. Whichever Vatican II shills are publishing otherwise should add someone with more than high school Spanish to their ranks.
“Speculative legalistic coping”! I am in love.
 

Wandile

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Ugandan bishops not happy with the pope and sent him a letter to clarify. Also heard the pope met with the CDF recently.
 

biro

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Would this possibly be a court-operated matter, a legal thing with a judge, allowing gay people to pass on property and such; and not a blessing given in the church?
 

Wandile

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Would this possibly be a court-operated matter, a legal thing with a judge, allowing gay people to pass on property and such; and not a blessing given in the church?
Based on his past comments apparently this is what he is arguing for.
 

RaphaCam

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Would this possibly be a court-operated matter, a legal thing with a judge, allowing gay people to pass on property and such; and not a blessing given in the church?
Yes, but, just to set some context, before same-sex civil unions were approved in Argentina same-sex couples living as if they were married already had a lot of rights, such as inheritance, alimony, restitution for the partner's wrongful death, etc.

This happens because Argentina already traditionally granted a lot of rights for concubinos, that is, people who lived as if they were married even though they were legally prohibited of marrying each other (initially mostly due to at least one of them already being married, but that eventually extended to being of the same sex). In terms of property, the only relevant impeachment was that they could only receive inheritance by means of a will, and this will couldn't transfer them more property than what the herederos forzosos (parents, spouses and children) are legally entitled to. Also, they could not adopt children... :sneaky: Introducing unión civil was meant to abridge this gap.
 
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Romans 13:1-7 says we obey the secular rule. Why does a cleric need to clarify secular policy that conflicts with faith when our own faith already instructs us not to judge & love our neighbor but embrace sin? For those who might jump on my case here, I am probably in agreement with the Ugandan RC bishops.
 
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typo in my post re “embrace sin” , should be “NOT embrace sin “
 

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Acknowledging their civil rights is not embracing sin. We believe divorce is sinful but don’t argue against the civil rights of divorced couples.
 

Saxon

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Acknowledging their civil rights is not embracing sin. We believe divorce is sinful but don’t argue against the civil rights of divorced couples.
Their civil rights aren't in question. The LGBT community in Catholic countries is not in danger of being stripped of citizenship, denied the vote, or being forced to wear pink stars on their clothes. What the Pope is advocating is a privilege that is a direct and intentional alternative to the sacrament of marriage, and an impediment to either a celibate existence or turning from the homosexual lifestyle. It is a rejection of Catholic teaching on multiple fronts.
 

Tzimis

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Acknowledging their civil rights is not embracing sin. We believe divorce is sinful but don’t argue against the civil rights of divorced couples.
That's like saying crucifixions are ok during Christs era, because it was civilly sanctioned.
 

Deacon Lance

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Their civil rights aren't in question. The LGBT community in Catholic countries is not in danger of being stripped of citizenship, denied the vote, or being forced to wear pink stars on their clothes. What the Pope is advocating is a privilege that is a direct and intentional alternative to the sacrament of marriage, and an impediment to either a celibate existence or turning from the homosexual lifestyle. It is a rejection of Catholic teaching on multiple fronts.
Adults have the right (not privilege) to live with whom they choose and leave their possessions to whom they want. All in the Family tackled this in 70s.
 

noahzarc1

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Absolutely not! Unión convivencial and unión civil are two names for the same Argentine law institute. Convivencia can indeed mean "co-existence", but it also means (even literally) "cohabitation". Convivencia civil is just a mash-up of both names, and it's not about basic rights because there are already laws protecting people who cannot be married but are living as a couple anyway: they're in unión concubinaria, not unión civil! Anything beyond this would not only be speculative legalistic coping, but also objectively wrong. Whichever Vatican II shills are publishing otherwise should add someone with more than high school Spanish to their ranks.

But you don't have to take my word for it, the Archbishop of La Plata (and former Pope's suffragan) Don Víctor Manuel Fernández, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, not only confirmed it, but went well beyond:


There's no loophole around this. It is what it is. I'm not bantering you guys for Schadenfreude: this seriously worries me because we Orthodox are next in line, and I'm sure some high-ranking figures among our clergy are jealous that they have to hide their agreement with the Pope.
Speculative legalistic coping? I'm trying to figure out a working definition of what speculative legalistic coping is. If I understand you, you're saying the Pope (or the Catholic Church) is making conjectures about the law in order to deal with the difficulty of the law on these matters? Or are you saying the law was already clear and anything beyond that is just conjecture to make it seem like a situation more difficult that it really is?
 

Wandile

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Speculative legalistic coping? I'm trying to figure out a working definition of what speculative legalistic coping is. If I understand you, you're saying the Pope (or the Catholic Church) is making conjectures about the law in order to deal with the difficulty of the law on these matters? Or are you saying the law was already clear and anything beyond that is just conjecture to make it seem like a situation more difficult that it really is?
I think what Rapha means by that is the discussion over the translation of the popes words and that, as he believes, they are clear in meaning in Argentina and only speculative legalism is causing people to doubt their meaning (civil unions) as people are arguing a translation meaning “civil coexistence” which is more literalist and absolves the pope from error.
 

noahzarc1

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I think what Rapha means by that is the discussion over the translation of the popes words and that, as he believes, they are clear in meaning in Argentina and only speculative legalism is causing people to doubt their meaning (civil unions) as people are arguing a translation meaning “civil coexistence” which is more literalist and absolves the pope from error.
Nevertheless as you've pointed out the Pope has been signaling his thoughts on this for a long time. I think the outrage is justified until it is truly clarified.
 

Ainnir

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The reality is God created a specific order. People don't necessarily need to be forced into this order if their situation doesn't allow for it, but to say, "Eh, it's all the same, no biggie," is not in keeping with God's commands at any point in human history. While we can't control what a secular government does, and I absolutely believe in treating all people with dignity, we should be humbly holding to God's precepts, not finding workarounds for those who choose to ignore God. It probably also varies by nation and culture.
 

noahzarc1

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Not much to clarify, he's done dooed it ```
I wasn't anticipating it would be a situation it would be clarified in order for it to actually show his position is orthodox and he was actually misinterpreted. That would be nice of course. However, it seems that on controversial issues he seems to speak with certain ambiguities to either leave one questioning or it seems he does it sort of in an antagonistic way in order to ruffle feathers of the conservatives of the Church. I think the only think Pope Francis has been clear on, and consistently spoken unambiguously about, is his deep hatred for the conservatives in the Catholic Church.

Therefore, when I say "clarify" either come out and say it and leave no room for your supporters to try to make ambiguous and unclear statements appear to be "misinterpreted" and provide alternative explanations. This continuous, "what did he mean by that," has to end.
 

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I wasn't anticipating it would be a situation it would be clarified in order for it to actually show his position is orthodox and he was actually misinterpreted. That would be nice of course. However, it seems that on controversial issues he seems to speak with certain ambiguities to either leave one questioning or it seems he does it sort of in an antagonistic way in order to ruffle feathers of the conservatives of the Church. I think the only think Pope Francis has been clear on, and consistently spoken unambiguously about, is his deep hatred for the conservatives in the Catholic Church.

Therefore, when I say "clarify" either come out and say it and leave no room for your supporters to try to make ambiguous and unclear statements appear to be "misinterpreted" and provide alternative explanations. This continuous, "what did he mean by that," has to end.
People are confusing Pope Francis with other highly visible public personalities who "run off with the mouth" without giving much in-depth thought.
Pope Francis chooses his words Very carefully. He meant exactly for his statement to prodice this result: people scurrying about- wondering, "where is the line in the sand?" " What do I believe?" " Why do I believe it?" He is sifting The Wheat. The conservative wants to pin him into the corner. The liberal smells hope for a messed up life. It's not really confusion after all. Everyone will hear what one wants from the vantage point they are currently in.

Step back and take a look from a distance. Why did Pope Benedict quit? Timing? Why was Pope Frances brought in? Timing? They knew the maggots were about to explode out of a seemingly beautiful apple. He knows the church sex scandal ( a power struggle expressed in sexual Dominance). He hears the confessions of many. He was brought in to tackle it. He also seems to push back without a care of who likes him or not- against the conservative element who often are acting like white washed sepulcres, full of dead man's bones.

The conservative cries out," What does the law say?" God thank you that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican...I DO a bunch of stuff......real big religious stuff that can be seen with the eyes, measured. A public announcement of holiness in action.

The liberal cries out, " is there grace for even me? Does the hand of God reach so far as to me too?" Standing off not lifting eyes to heaven, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Jesus, the friend of sinners.

If He only knew what manner of woman she is...

Yes, He came not for the righteous but sinners, unto repentance...


Unto repentance.

Unto repentance: Grab ahold of that gently. Lest we advocate turning all the sinners into twice the sons of hell as the Pharisees are.

Liberals and conservatives alike are smearing manure onto each other's faces. It stinks. Somewhere in the middle there is humility and gentleness and love. The truth is usually hidden from those not really seeking it but rather seek self righteousness and vindication and also justification for sin.
This reminds me of those pictures of dresses or shoes on the internet. " is it a pink dress with yellow sash or a green dress with red sash?"

He said what he said exactly as he said it to the audience that received it in the language chosen with the media ready.

Have you examined your heart in humility?

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
 

RaphaCam

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I think what Rapha means by that is the discussion over the translation of the popes words and that, as he believes, they are clear in meaning in Argentina and only speculative legalism is causing people to doubt their meaning (civil unions) as people are arguing a translation meaning “civil coexistence” which is more literalist and absolves the pope from error.
Exactly.
 

noahzarc1

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People are confusing Pope Francis with other highly visible public personalities who "run off with the mouth" without giving much in-depth thought.
Pope Francis chooses his words Very carefully. He meant exactly for his statement to prodice this result: people scurrying about- wondering, "where is the line in the sand?" " What do I believe?" " Why do I believe it?" He is sifting The Wheat. The conservative wants to pin him into the corner. The liberal smells hope for a messed up life. It's not really confusion after all. Everyone will hear what one wants from the vantage point they are currently in.

Step back and take a look from a distance. Why did Pope Benedict quit? Timing? Why was Pope Frances brought in? Timing? They knew the maggots were about to explode out of a seemingly beautiful apple. He knows the church sex scandal ( a power struggle expressed in sexual Dominance). He hears the confessions of many. He was brought in to tackle it. He also seems to push back without a care of who likes him or not- against the conservative element who often are acting like white washed sepulcres, full of dead man's bones.

The conservative cries out," What does the law say?" God thank you that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican...I DO a bunch of stuff......real big religious stuff that can be seen with the eyes, measured. A public announcement of holiness in action.

The liberal cries out, " is there grace for even me? Does the hand of God reach so far as to me too?" Standing off not lifting eyes to heaven, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Jesus, the friend of sinners.

If He only knew what manner of woman she is...

Yes, He came not for the righteous but sinners, unto repentance...


Unto repentance.

Unto repentance: Grab ahold of that gently. Lest we advocate turning all the sinners into twice the sons of hell as the Pharisees are.

Liberals and conservatives alike are smearing manure onto each other's faces. It stinks. Somewhere in the middle there is humility and gentleness and love. The truth is usually hidden from those not really seeking it but rather seek self righteousness and vindication and also justification for sin.
This reminds me of those pictures of dresses or shoes on the internet. " is it a pink dress with yellow sash or a green dress with red sash?"

He said what he said exactly as he said it to the audience that received it in the language chosen with the media ready.

Have you examined your heart in humility?

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
"Examine yourself daily in the sight of God, and discover which of the passions is in your heart. Cast it out, and so escape His judgment. Be attentive to your heart and watch your enemies, for they are cunning in their malice. In your heart be persuaded of this: it is impossible for a man to achieve good through evil means. That is why our Savior told us to be watchful, saying: 'Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find it (Matt. 7:14)." - St. Isaiah the Solitary, (St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain; The Philokalia, Volume 1)
 

xariskai

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Our Church has always seen as part of its mission to sanctify and transfigure the culture. If not, then we cannot use it to tell people that they should pass laws to help the poor. We can't have it both ways. But in every age the complexities of the fallen world leave the task easier said then done, or if actually done easier repudiated with little remark than owned or redone.

Interesting how times change theological insights (not to say "True Theology"TM changes)

St. John Chrysostom regarded homosexuality as a crime worse than murder.

The Chronicle of John Malalas, records Justinian ruled practicing male homosexuals' genitals should be amputated amputated (forgive citing Wikipedia; feeling lazy today...):
"In the sixth century, the Greek chronicler John Malalas recorded that a certain Isaiah (the Bishop of Rhodes) and Alexander (Bishop of Diopolis) had been punished by the Prefect of Thrace for "homosexual practices". Isaiah was tortured severely and exiled, while Alexander had his genitals amputated and paraded around the city on a litter to humiliate him. As a result, the Christian Emperor Justinian (c.e 482–565) decreed that all caught for pederasty should have their genitals amputated. Many gay men were arrested in the wake of this, and died from their injuries. An atmosphere of fear followed (The Chronicle of John Malalas, 18:18)

The "transfiguring" influence of the Orthodox "Symphonia" in this case takes the form of disfiguring.

Acknowledging their civil rights is not embracing sin. We believe divorce is sinful but don’t argue against the civil rights of divorced couples.
I don't disagree politically; as an Orthodox Christian I'm a little confused by significance of the word "we" in such a context.

It is difficult not to simply admit early Byzantine law, culture, and theology look nothing like anything like what "we" might prefer to converge toward today. There is no prevalent modern Orthodox rush to be "Neo-Patristic" in our attitudes to matters like crime, punishment, and law as pertaining to matters like divorce (historiographically legally diverse) or homosexuality and/or the Symphonia ideal as touching either. "We" 21st century Orthodox treat "our" forebearers as a smorgasbord, or as foothills on the road to modern "sexular Enlightenment" to a greater extent then "we" are otherwise wont to admit while claiming to be about the opposite seems somewhat at play in this example.As another example of the former consider this gem:

"When a man marries [a man] as a woman offering herself to men, what can he be seeking, where gender has lost its place; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment." Theodosian Code 9.7.3 -note TC was composed as a distillation of previous Roman law beginning from the time of Emperor St. Constantine.

Maybe if we are honest there is no "we" in sense that can really be defended at the bar of history. On matters like these "we" it seems are more or less on our own with all the rest of our postmodern orphan kindred. Again please don't get me wrong. I'm actually not disagreeing "politically" -just a little self-reflection on a topic that may simply be too big for first millennial theological boxes. Perhaps I'm missing something.
 
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I believe the Lord clearly established for us to be humane in the Sermon on the Mount but this usually fails. Still, the moral code of Leviticus 18, 19, 20, 10 commandments etc. remains. The Lord affirms as such in Matthew 15:1-20 as does St. Paul in Romans 1. Now the worldly way seems to accommodate sin.
 

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It always has.
 
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Yes I wonder where many faithful Catholics in their flock going to go to SSPX or go full on Sedevacantist. The sedevacantists must be thinking "I told you all so all along "
This was me, to an extent. But not because of this particular case. My struggle was with Vatican II. I became a Roman Catholic in 2013 and was almost immediately turned off by the horrid liturgy. Fast forward a few years of bouncing from parish to parish finding the same lackluster liturgy, the same general apathy and non belief in the communicants, and all the other well known problems now that serve as blow after blow to the Catholic's faith. I was close to despair when I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass. We would drive 1.50 hours north for a "low mass" and occassionally make the trek 2 hours south for a High Mass served by the FSSP (it's where both my children were baptized). After three failed attempts to move from California to North Idaho (the Coeur D'Alene/Post Falls area is a traditional catholic stronghold), I had all but given up. By Divine providence, we happened upon a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church 2 hours north of us when driving about the town doing weekend family stuff. Attended the next Sunday and experienced the Divine Liturgy for the first time. I was blown away. It changed everything for me. I started distancing myself from the toxic TLM communities (to be fair the priests were absolutely wonderful and devout men of God and there were a few good couples I encountered personally in these groups, but most people in these three communities treated my family and myself like we didn't exist, because we were "new". At least that was my assumption). The Byzantine community was small but welcomed us like family. I was happy there but the distance was far too great. We weren't and aren't in any position to move out of town and the Liturgy being two hours away meant we could never participate fully in the life of the Church (which was important to me). Thank God I spent a short time in Eastern Catholicism because it opened me to the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. I went to my first Orthodox Divine Liturgy two Sundays ago. And last Sunday, my wife and kids joined me. My wife went from threatening to divorce me if I became Orthodox a few months ago, to willing to continue going to the Orthodox Liturgy and staying for fellowship after. At the moment, she still has no desire or intention to convert. She is a cradle Roman Catholic and hispanic and is greatly concerned about what her family (especially her mother) would think if she became an "apostate" and left the Catholic Church for Orthodoxy. And to be honest, I don't know if I am convinced of Orthodox over Catholicism or Catholicism over Orthodoxy as far as the myriad theological issues go. But at the end of the day, I realize those issues are out of my hands. I am a laymen. God is not going to hold me to account for the schism or it's consequences. That is up for the clergy of both sides to resolve. My job is to pray for unity and live the Commandments to the best of my ability, frequenting the Sacraments, and leading my family to Christ in order to do the same. With that in mind, I made the difficult yet obvious choice. Knowing my family is likely stuck in the small town we are in, our choices for what Church to raise our children in was one of two incredibly horrible diocesan roman catholic parishes that have watered the faith down so much that just attending is a soul crushing experience (this is genuinely how I felt. I don't mean to just rail against them for the sake of being uncharitible. I literally felt like I was spiritually dying in these places). The alternative, is the Antiochian Orthodox Church. The priest is a holy man and very knowledgable. The community is welcoming and nice. Our kids fit right in (not essential but always a plus). I feel like, despite not being convinced on everything, I feel as though I finally found my place in God's Church. I feel like I have come home.

TLDR: Was Catholic, bad time. Becoming Orthodox. God Bless Holy Orthodoxy!
 

noahzarc1

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This was me, to an extent. But not because of this particular case. My struggle was with Vatican II. I became a Roman Catholic in 2013 and was almost immediately turned off by the horrid liturgy. Fast forward a few years of bouncing from parish to parish finding the same lackluster liturgy, the same general apathy and non belief in the communicants, and all the other well known problems now that serve as blow after blow to the Catholic's faith. I was close to despair when I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass. We would drive 1.50 hours north for a "low mass" and occassionally make the trek 2 hours south for a High Mass served by the FSSP (it's where both my children were baptized). After three failed attempts to move from California to North Idaho (the Coeur D'Alene/Post Falls area is a traditional catholic stronghold), I had all but given up. By Divine providence, we happened upon a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church 2 hours north of us when driving about the town doing weekend family stuff. Attended the next Sunday and experienced the Divine Liturgy for the first time. I was blown away. It changed everything for me. I started distancing myself from the toxic TLM communities (to be fair the priests were absolutely wonderful and devout men of God and there were a few good couples I encountered personally in these groups, but most people in these three communities treated my family and myself like we didn't exist, because we were "new". At least that was my assumption). The Byzantine community was small but welcomed us like family. I was happy there but the distance was far too great. We weren't and aren't in any position to move out of town and the Liturgy being two hours away meant we could never participate fully in the life of the Church (which was important to me). Thank God I spent a short time in Eastern Catholicism because it opened me to the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. I went to my first Orthodox Divine Liturgy two Sundays ago. And last Sunday, my wife and kids joined me. My wife went from threatening to divorce me if I became Orthodox a few months ago, to willing to continue going to the Orthodox Liturgy and staying for fellowship after. At the moment, she still has no desire or intention to convert. She is a cradle Roman Catholic and hispanic and is greatly concerned about what her family (especially her mother) would think if she became an "apostate" and left the Catholic Church for Orthodoxy. And to be honest, I don't know if I am convinced of Orthodox over Catholicism or Catholicism over Orthodoxy as far as the myriad theological issues go. But at the end of the day, I realize those issues are out of my hands. I am a laymen. God is not going to hold me to account for the schism or it's consequences. That is up for the clergy of both sides to resolve. My job is to pray for unity and live the Commandments to the best of my ability, frequenting the Sacraments, and leading my family to Christ in order to do the same. With that in mind, I made the difficult yet obvious choice. Knowing my family is likely stuck in the small town we are in, our choices for what Church to raise our children in was one of two incredibly horrible diocesan roman catholic parishes that have watered the faith down so much that just attending is a soul crushing experience (this is genuinely how I felt. I don't mean to just rail against them for the sake of being uncharitible. I literally felt like I was spiritually dying in these places). The alternative, is the Antiochian Orthodox Church. The priest is a holy man and very knowledgable. The community is welcoming and nice. Our kids fit right in (not essential but always a plus). I feel like, despite not being convinced on everything, I feel as though I finally found my place in God's Church. I feel like I have come home.

TLDR: Was Catholic, bad time. Becoming Orthodox. God Bless Holy Orthodoxy!
Just curious what your history was prior to 2013? Were you a Protestant or non-Christian altogether? I enjoyed your story.
 
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Just curious what your history was prior to 2013? Were you a Protestant or non-Christian altogether? I enjoyed your story.
Prior to that I bounced around a few protestant churches but I was raised in a non faith household. My mother was never anything and my dad was a lapsed Catholic from before I was born.
 

Ainnir

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Glory to God!
Lord guide your servant and his family.

And welcome to the forum!
 

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People are confusing Pope Francis with other highly visible public personalities who "run off with the mouth" without giving much in-depth thought.
Pope Francis chooses his words Very carefully. He meant exactly for his statement to prodice this result: people scurrying about- wondering, "where is the line in the sand?" " What do I believe?" " Why do I believe it?" He is sifting The Wheat. The conservative wants to pin him into the corner. The liberal smells hope for a messed up life. It's not really confusion after all. Everyone will hear what one wants from the vantage point they are currently in.

Step back and take a look from a distance. Why did Pope Benedict quit? Timing? Why was Pope Frances brought in? Timing? They knew the maggots were about to explode out of a seemingly beautiful apple. He knows the church sex scandal ( a power struggle expressed in sexual Dominance). He hears the confessions of many. He was brought in to tackle it. He also seems to push back without a care of who likes him or not- against the conservative element who often are acting like white washed sepulcres, full of dead man's bones.

The conservative cries out," What does the law say?" God thank you that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican...I DO a bunch of stuff......real big religious stuff that can be seen with the eyes, measured. A public announcement of holiness in action.

The liberal cries out, " is there grace for even me? Does the hand of God reach so far as to me too?" Standing off not lifting eyes to heaven, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Jesus, the friend of sinners.

If He only knew what manner of woman she is...

Yes, He came not for the righteous but sinners, unto repentance...


Unto repentance.

Unto repentance: Grab ahold of that gently. Lest we advocate turning all the sinners into twice the sons of hell as the Pharisees are.

Liberals and conservatives alike are smearing manure onto each other's faces. It stinks. Somewhere in the middle there is humility and gentleness and love. The truth is usually hidden from those not really seeking it but rather seek self righteousness and vindication and also justification for sin.
This reminds me of those pictures of dresses or shoes on the internet. " is it a pink dress with yellow sash or a green dress with red sash?"

He said what he said exactly as he said it to the audience that received it in the language chosen with the media ready.

Have you examined your heart in humility?

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
Well, I was wrong.
Apparently the Vatican has clarified Pope Francis' statements. I'm sure a lot of people will sleep better tonight.
I'm glad I am wrong.
Im glad this clarification came out so soon after the fact.
Lord have mercy
 

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Pope Francis makes clear stand regarding Church position that it cannot bless same sex marriage.

 

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Im so happy this position has finally been clearly expressed. I hope it will bring peace to many.
 

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