…that if they are converting in order to flee the pathologies in their own tradition, they are going to find exactly the same pathologies in Orthodox believers. So they had better realize now that there ain’t no perfect Church and learn to live by (and extend to others) the grace of Christ.
I recall writing something similar a few years back when a writer for Beliefnet decided to flee the Catholic communion for Orthodoxy and offered some not-very-well-argued rationales that were identical to those this fine Orthodox nun warns about.
There Ain’t No Pure Church. You cannot build a life on protest. If your reason for becoming Catholic is to extend the middle finger to the last group you were involved with, or because you think you have finally found the perfect Church that is going to be the suitable accoutrement for your misunderstood and unappreciated greatness, you are in grave danger. Because the Church is going to have all the pathologies you think you are leaving behind and it is carefully engineered by God to surround you with people who don’t think you are All That and who are both far greater than you and far worse than you–and you are gonna have to cope with both those realities. If you don’t get through your head from the outset that your purpose in becoming a Catholic is not to grace the Church with your awesomeness, nor to tell the Church how she can be improved to suit you, nor to finally escape human sin and imperfection, but to be the latest slob and loser God has gathered up in the great Net with all the other stinky fish and to begin the process of saving your sinful undeserving hide, you are just asking for trouble. Because the Church is a herd of cats. Always was. Always will be in this world. That ‘s not a bug. That’s a feature. Its purpose is to teach us humility. Receive your Church as she is, not content with her sins, of course, but refusing to despair of her either. Cuz you’re not so hot yourself and yet God keeps coming to you every day with love, mercy, and hope that you and I will do a little bit better today. And you know what? We do. Thanks be to God.