Tom over at Una Sancta writes an incredibly polemical piece on why Protestants become Orthodox rather than Roman Catholic:
One problem that arises when a Western Protestant chooses Orthodoxy is the intentional NOT choosing Catholicism. Thus, the convert to Orthodoxy feels the need to revisit old conflicts and take sides, even though he is in all likelhood woefully underinformed.
There is the horribly uncharitable charge that Protestant converts to Orthodoxy are “woefully underinformed.” Apparently Tom doesn’t know our parish priest, whose knowledge of Church history and patristics is vast and deep. And then there are the gentlemen over at Engergetic Procession. And, heck, if I may, there’s myself (though, while I consider myself adequately informed, I do not count myself up to the level of knowledge of Fr. Pat or the EP guys).
But aside from the backhanded slap, Tom begs the question of choice. Of course, when one chooses one option, one is by default not choosing other options. But it does not logically follow that the motivation for not choosing is thereby negative. That is to say, Tom assumes–but does not prove–that Protestant converts to Orthodoxy necessarily (as opposed to coincidentally) choose Orthodoxy as a means of rejecting the papacy. But there is no logical force to this charge. I may choose Orthodoxy for all sorts of reasons that have very little to do with the papacy. In fact, my motivations for becoming Orthodox have had almost nothing to do with the papacy.
I did, indeed, consider the papacy–before ever I knew what Orthodoxy was–and almost became Roman Catholic from the force of John Paul the Great’s persona alone. I am an Orthodox who believes John Paul will likely be recognized by the Roman Church as a saint, and believe that that is a legitimate claim. One can also look through my blog archives here and see with what great joy I greeted the election of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
No, while it is true I do not accept the Roman Catholic claims about the papacy–or, at least, I do not accept the ones not shared by Orthodoxy–I am far from anti-pope. I have done enough study on the matter to find myself wholly unpersuaded by the Roman Catholic arguments regarding their distinctive claims about the pope. I do, however, accept the Orthodox ones, which see the Roman see as primus inter pares, as one of the patriarchal sees, as a locus of appeal in ecclesiastical matters, and so forth. But I do not see the Church Fathers, let alone the Scriptures, as teaching what Roman Catholic papal apologists often teach.
One could hardly find a more non-anti-papal Orthodox than myself.