If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been directed here for an explanation of why I have left our parish, the diaconate formation, and the Roman Catholic Church. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you by this decision. It was not my intention.
I have been struggling with this decision for many months and kept them mostly private because I knew how potentially scandalous it could be. If I came to the point of leaving the Catholic Church, I needed to be absolutely sure and it needed to be done quickly without a long, drawn-out public event.
So why am I writing this? This is a public post, but few people even know about this site. If you are here it’s probably because I’ve sent you a link or someone else has. I’m not trying to make this a spectacle. If I could quietly leave and not be noticed, I would. But I have too many friends in the parish and the diocese that will be impacted by my choice. I feel I have to address why I’m making my decision. I do not expect everyone to understand, but this is simply an attempt to explain myself without having to do so over and over as people reach out.
Fifteen years ago, I was a catechumen in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Through my great sins, and the distance to the parish (around 1.5 hours away), I did not finish the catechumenate. For a while I was kind of adrift, and as I came out of this dark place I started attending my local Catholic parish (ICC). Over time, I reasoned that the Catholic Church had all that I had been seeking for in Eastern Orthodoxy: tradition, liturgical worship, apostolic succession and unity of faith (and it was closer!)
I spent 13 years as a Catholic. Around 2 years ago (after I had entered the diaconate formation), a series of events initiated many doubts about my decision to become Catholic. I won’t go into deep detail about these doubts, as I don’t want this to be an attack on the Catholic Church. But as an example, I had desired beautiful and reverent liturgical worship. In the Catholic Church, I had slowly lowered my expectations of what this means. Initially, I had been frustrated with the state of liturgical practice, but I also had become resigned that this was just the way it was and it wasn’t going to get much better.
This is just a small example. There are more. But ultimately the question I had to answer was this: was my desire for tradition, liturgy, apostolic authority and unity of faith being met in the Catholic Church? Over time, I had to answer this question negatively. I have decided that I will return to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is there that I will work out my salvation with fear and trembling.
It is and will be a painful decision. I love the parish I’m leaving, and will always cherish it and the relationships I have formed. Know that I am and always will be your friend.
Please pray for me, as I pray for you.
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