As a western Catholic, what should I know about the Eastern church?

I’m a Roman Catholic who’s interested in the Eastern rites. I’m looking for Orthodox Catholic Christianity without regards to allegiance to the classical Roman empire, as my understanding puts the Orthodox Church in allegiance with the Eastern Roman Empire in olden days, and Russia in modern times. I’m wondering about Greek Catholic, Byzantine Catholic, and Ukrainian Catholic churches, and any others that went into schism but were brought back into the Pope’s sphere of influence. Is it a completely different rite than Latin? As in are all official church affairs spoken and written in Greek or Cyrillic? Are all affected Saints venerated in the Catholic magisterium? Are masses two hours long with no pews? Do you feel Christ’s presence in the rites as opposed to the emptiness reported from Orthodox Church?

I’m not sure what you mean by this, but it strikes me as being perhaps deliberately provocative.



LOL, no. I’m Orthodox. I am blessed in that I have discerned God’s presence in the Eucharist. It’s why I became Orthodox, actually. During my visiting phase, I showed up so late that communion was already going on and I felt the overwhelming presence of God. I have since felt the presence of God in a Catholic Adoration chapel, as well. Unlike some in the East (and the West, apparently), I’m of the opinion that both the Orthodox and the Catholics have true and real sacraments.

Also, I absolutely do NOT feel that our liturgy is too long. I adore the Divine Liturgy. I also hear it in English every week. Not every Orthodox (and Eastern Catholic) parish does everything in the language of the ‘old country’. Depending on the parish, we can have pews. Our music is also fantastic. There’s nothing overbearing about it. It’s awesome.


Eh? Rasputin was a rogue monk. His existence and alleged influence on the Czar had little to do with whether or not anyone could have avoided communism. The buildup to communism was planted well before then. Russians had been turning from their faith and there were plenty of issues. The handwriting had long been on the wall, so to speak.

Do not call him Father anything. He was never ordained to anything. Even calling him a monk is being too generous. There is no record that he was even tonsured. He held no position of any sort in the Russian Orthodox Church.


Okay. Didn’t know, sorry.

You don’t have to apologize to me, because you didn’t offend me. Russian history is not well known but extremely fascinating. I simply think that someone like Rasputin was more of an effect of something already diseased and not the cause by a long shot.

If you’re interested in Soviet history, this is a good place to start:

One thing I encountered a lot in Protestantism was a bit of phenomenon where people would jump from “spiritual experience” to “spiritual experience”, constantly chasing after a “spiritual high” and moving on when they could no longer experience it. They never stopped and questioned if there was a problem with themselves or their understanding. They just assumed that it was no longer what God wanted for them.

I’d imagine you get a lot of similar experiences in Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In fact, I’m pretty sure St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary lamented that such things often happen to those trying to get into Marian devotions.

Basically, a sense of looking for these experiences to please ourselves is universal across Christianity. It isn’t strictly something that happens to some Orthodox Christians, nor is it something that Catholics are immune to.

Or you know, maybe he was just nuts.


But I thought Protestants that settled into the Catholic Church found better rest on the theology of the magisterium. The deposit of faith and Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

Yes, but that’s really a different issue. Normally this jumping around spiritually is done, in part, because there’s no serious barrier to any new “experience”. Converting to Catholicism requires a considerable commitment before ever receiving the Eucharist, so converting to Catholicism in the hope of getting that high (assuming there aren’t major doctrinal concerns on the Protestant’s part) isn’t exactly appealing.

I’m thinking more about things like spending X amount of time in Bible study a day, going to retreats, getting swept up in a new type of prayer, etc. Sometimes, this moves into the service, so you get people complaining about how frequently the Lord’s Supper is given, thinking there should be fewer songs, wanting the sermon to be shorter, etc. Obviously, we have similar parallels in Catholicism, both in the Mass and personal devotions.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit