A general question for Eastern Catholics

I have recently been wondering after reading an interesting book on Eastern Christianity, when it was the different branches came back into communion with the universal Church. In addition to this, in churches such as the Coptic Catholic church, how were the Monophysite doctrines settled, denied by Chalcedon, but highly prelevant in Eastern traditions.

I apologize if me question seems a bit scatter brained, but I hope to see responses.

Thank you for showing interest in the various Eastern Catholic Churches!

The Melkite Church came into Communion with Rome in the 18th century as a decision by the Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops. At that time some Melkite Bishops decided to stay with Constantinople, and became the Antiochian Orthodox Church with their Patriarch appointed by Constantinople.

As for Churches like the Coptic Church, the Monophysite controversy has been resolved between the Catholic Communion and the Oriental Orthodox. Their theology was always orthodox, but there was a misunderstanding of terminology used. The Copts actually anathemized Eutyches, the author of Monophysitism, on their own shortly after the split between themselves and the Chalcedonian Churches. There was no reunion at that time, however, because they were concerned that the language of the Council of Chalcedon was Nestorian.

So Churches like the Coptic and Syriac and Armenian are now considered fully orthodox in their Faith, and there is no restriction placed on them entering the Catholic Communion. In fact, we even have limited inter-Communion with the Syriac, Armenian, and Indian non-Chalcedonian Churches (there are standing agreements between these Churches and the Catholic Communion that their Faithful and ours can received Sacraments from the other Church in certain circumstances such as weddings, or when there are no priests of their own in the area). :slight_smile:

Peace and God bless!

The Maronites and the Italo-Albanian Byzantine Churches both claim uninterrupted communion with the Catholic Church.

I’ve recently learned that the hiearchy of the Indian Catholic Church (Malankara) claim the same thing.


:confused: Are you sure you don’t mean the Syro-*Malabar *Church?

Yes, that’s what I meant. Sometimes I type so fast and my typing gets ahead of my thoughts. I do it with a lot of words I type, especially when the first several letters of the two words are the same. It starts off on the right track, then it just deviates for some wierd reason.:o

Thanks for the correction.


It should be noted that the Syro-Malabar and Maronite had long periods of only spiritual unity to Rome, with no practical contact.

The Italo-albanians were suppressed by invading forces for a few years.

Thank you.:slight_smile:
This helped immencely.

Could you post a link on the terminology resolution? Thank you.:slight_smile:

Sure, you can read about the dialogue and various declarations here:


Peace and God bless!

The Ukrainian church came back into union in the late 1500s under the Treaty of Brest.


Irrespective of any lack of "practical contact" (for the Maronites) or “suppression by invaders” (for the Italo-Greeks) (really, what difference does either make in fact?) yes, I believe that is correct.

As for the Syro-Malabars, history seems to say otherwise. Originally, the Syro-Malabar Church was part of the ACoE. (Some will undoubtedly say that the ACoE neglected (or even “forgot about”) its daughter in Kerala. That seems to be true and really is sad, but it is not material to the question at hand.) The union (or, if one prefers “reunion”) was formalized in the 16th century.

For the Maronites, it’s a HUGE issue, since after recontact, they rapidly latinized. It fundamentally altered their way of worship, and disentangling what is viable, what is original, and what can/should/may be retained/discarded has been a huge issue for the last 20 years, since HH Bl. John Paul II emphasized the V II call for delatinization of the Eastern Churches.

The invasion of Italy and the suppression of the Italo-Albanians has had almost no lasting effect.

The Christians of India likewise have had latinizations adopted for union; latinizations that have been deemed by HH Bl. John Paul II as needing to be undone. Not so profound as in the Maronites… but still.

You are not right. The syro malabar christians were under the Patriarch of Antioch for centuries. From 14 th century onwards, caldean bishops came to syro malabar church up to 16th century. After that portuguese forcefully converted majority of them to Roman church. Until the arrival of Portuguese, they did not know any thing on Rome or Roman Pope. So do not spread false things.

I don’t believe that’s quite correct either.

The Syro-Malabar Church was originally a daughter of the Assyrian Church of the East and came under the jurisdiction of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Selucia-Ctesiphon. The formal union (or reunion) with Rome came about in the 16th century, but by all historical accounts that I’ve ever seen it was voluntary and not done forcibly.

Anyway, there was some discussion recently in this forum in another thread (entitled Syro-Malabar Catholic Church) and I might suggest you have a look there.

The question was about uninterrupted union, and that is what I was addressing, not the matter of “latinization” among the Maronites. Yes, the whole “latinization” thing a “huge issue” as you put it, but nonetheless quite tangential to the question of uninterrupted union.

One can say just about the same in regard to the Syro-Malabars.

I may not be an expert on things Byzantine, but I am quite conversant with things Syriac. Trust me when I say I’m intimately familiar with things Maronite in particular, and I will say that the matter of “latinization” is not quite as cut-and-dried as you portray it. Anyway, the topic of latinization among the Maronites was touched on fairly recently in an earlier thread, and I’m not rehashing it here.

I don’t think it’s false to report what bishops of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church believe. If I have the time, I’ll post links to statements by Syro-Malabra bishops. I recall reading it from two separate accounts by two different bishops over a month ago (I hope I can find those websites again). Maybe I’ll find more than two references if I really focus.


The issue arose from recontact and Roman attitudes. Had there been continuous practical union, things would probably be quite different.

Maybe no, maybe yes. Too bad we can’t ask Louis IX (S Louis) for an opinion.

Personally I doubt that it would have made one iota of difference. The Maronites had been ill treated by the Byzantines as well as the non-Chalcedonians. Then, to top it all off, came the Arab invasions and things got worse.

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