Are Orthodox considered protestants? If not, why not?

Surely Orthodox were the first protestants. They rejected the filioque clause so rejected Catholic teaching. I’m not an expert on the history and theology surrounding the whole thing and I’m quite ready to be corrected.


Several popes, notably Leo III, refused to accept the addition of the filioque, first proposed at the Council of Aachen in 809. It was a more complex issue than just an East vs. West confrontation.


Are you saying that Protestants=those who protest?


Technically they are schismatics. They have right theology, just refuse to be in communion with Rome. In their eyes, all bishops are equal and they don’t need a Pope to keep the bishops orderly. The Pope isn’t needed to settle disputes bewteen bishops.

Ironically, if they were in communion with Rome there wouldn’t be a Constantinople-Moscow split over Ukraine as the Pope would settle the matter for them.

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That was my understanding, yes, and the link that you posted supports that definition.

Thanks I didn’t know that. It doesn’t make sense to me though, if the pope wasn’t in agreement with the filioque then why was it added or kept.

It’s a long story involving both theology and political pressures on successive popes. I couldn’t even begin to explain it. I believe it was Pope Benedict VIII who finally gave way and accepted the filioque, at a synod or council held (I think) in 1022.

No; we are in schism from each other. They are not heretics. The Filioque or its absence is a non-issue to us Catholics and many Byzantine-rite Catholic churches omit it in their Divine Liturgies.

The Orthodox are true churches, and healing will not involve “them returning to the Catholic church” but a re-establishment of communion. This is what distinguishes them from Protestants That’s just putting simply what can be a very complicated question. .


The Orthodox have valid Sacrament (called Mysteries) and that is including the priesthood. This is one of the major differences to the protestant ecclesial communions. Note that Catholics don’t call the protestants for being churches due to lack of valid priesthood in the apostolic succession.

There have been many language difficulties between the Orthodox and Catholics during the centuries and millennia mainly due to difficulties when translating from one language to another. Catholics celebrate Holy Mass which translated into Greek is θεία λειτουργία which means Divine Liturgy and that is the word the Orthodox use for Holy Mass. The word “proceeds” is the problem with the Filioque as the Greek doesn’t mean exactly the same in Latin and the conflict with the natures of Christ continued longer in the West than in the East.

Not so. The Orthodox are a schismatic part of the Catholic Church. It is not the other way round. We are NOT a schismatic part of the Orthodox.


The term “Protestant” in Church-speak historically is for one who denies the patriarchal authority of the Pope. Orthodox do not; to them, he is the Patriarch of Rome - he just lacks universal jurisdiction. Henry VIII declared himself the patriarch for England, thus denying the Pope’s rightful authority, and Protestantism was born. I’d have to dig, but I don’t think even Luther was a “protestant” by definition before that, just labeled a schismatic or heretic from 1507-1533ish.

It was a long and complicated event. Both sides were at fault. It is much different than the advent of Protestantism.


Not exactly my understanding.
Both the Oriental and Eastern Ortodox groups have patriarchs.

Those patriarchs are 1st among equals just like the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

Did Luther ever deny the authority of the pope?
He dissagreed with him but did he ever deny the teaching that we shouod have a pope?

The technicality you mention is ironic in that you just said they have correct theology but differ significantly with you on the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in matters of faith and doctrine, and yet that is one of the defining characteristics of Roman Catholic doctrine. Perhaps, considerations other than theological differences are the reason Eastern Orthodox are labeled as schismatics rather than heretics.

Thats as far as I know about the Lost Brothers. From what I gather, the filioque is a non-issue. Anything else I wouldn’t know about.

I’m sure there’s a way to reconcile the two opinions. There’s already agreement to a degree: the Pope can still hold the primary of honour in a restored Pentarchy. As for his jurisdiction, we can also turn to the practice of the Great Church at the time of the first Seven Ecumenical councils and see where we could meet in the middle without doing violence to either ecclesiology. Possible examples could include Rome as a sort of universal “supreme court” of last appeal, or a ratifier of any future Church-wide Ecumenical Council. The recent developments such as Papal Infallibility of Vatican I can still be agreed on but exercised only “on the advice” of the rest of the Pentarchy, or perhaps the powers claimed by Rome can be held as reserve powers, also “on the advice” of the Pentarchy.

Not saying these are foolproof solutions, but there are ways to think of it. The problem is not doctrine. The problem is the bullheadedness of all concerned.

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Us Orthodox do indeed refer to as our primates (i.e. patriarch, Metropolitan, Archbishop, etc. or whatever the head bishop is titled) as “first among equals” though it should also be considered that they do indeed hold duties and responsibilities that a diocesan bishop does not have. See for example the descriptions in the statute of the Orthodox Church in America: the Metropolitan vs. the diocesan bishop.

I think this is really a way of saying a primatial bishop exercises his duties as a brother to his fellow bishops rather than a more top-down authoritative manner we stereotypically attribute to the Pope.

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I’d say seeing as he called him the antichrist he did deny it.

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