RE: Church Unity
Dear Brothers in Christ,
My name is Peter Cvek and I also am on the verge of finding my spiritual home in Orthodoxy. For many years I have struggled with the same questions and dilemnas as Tony has, excepting from a Protestant as well as Roman Catholic perspective, since being raised as a Communist I had not the benefit of a religious upbringing, and upon my conversion began to search through both... I would find it difficult to join, however, an Orthodox Church that would seek equality, let alone subservience, with the pretenses of Rome and its Papacy.. I can accept the Liturgy of Saint James and Saint Mark as of Apostolic origin and blessed indeed, but how can we partake of a liturgy in the Roman Church which is largely the work of Thomas Aquinas, and his wayward doctrines on Transsubstantiation, which certainly are and were not the original Orthodox teaching on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper? How can we accept as equal, if Orthodox, a denomination that regards its Inquisition arm ( to this day) as a Holy Office? How can we accept as equal the blasphemous claims of the Papacy to Montanistic Infallibility, and to Indulgences? The last of the Orthodox Bishops of Rome, Bishop Hippolytus @ 200 AD, was ousted by the heretical Bishop Callistus to his rightful claim on the throne of Rome... The Popes since Callistus have in the main continued his legacy.. Are we asked to cast all genuine reason and historical discernment out the door if we join Orthodoxy simply for the sake of a worldly tolerance of matters that Christ never intended to be tolerated, or some vague " peace", which Christ did not come to give for, as He says, His peace is one that " passes all understanding" and " not of this world"? Dear brothers,the martyrs of old died for a point of doctrine that they knew would breed future heresy and apostasy.. The blood of martyrs stains Roman hands to this day.. What indeed do we do?... Must we compass land and sea, like Rome, in search of one proselyte and then make them twice the child of Hades as herself? Are sincere seekers, such as Tony and myself, being merely asked to move our capital from Rome to Byzantium, yet keep the same emperor's clothes and political agenda? I truly do not desire to be contentious.. I seek the same answers as Tony does, and as millions of other potential Orthodox converts do... I love the truth enough not to merely use it as a mask for tolerance of things that ought never to be tolerated.. It is still worth dying for... What must be done, brothers, if we be true not to man's inventions, but to the Lord.... Peter Cvek, Australia...