Attending Orthodox Services


Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, speaking on the Eastern Churches not in communion with Rome, “These Churches, although separated from us, possess true sacraments, above all by apostolic succession, the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are linked with us in closest intimacy.”




Does the Catholic Church recognise the Greek Orthodox Church as part of itself?

No. As a matter of fact there is no one Greek Orthodox Church. There are many independent Greek Churches. They originated by rebellion against the Catholic Church in the ninth century, and have split up into many different allegiances. As long as they refuse to submit to the authority of the Catholic Church they are as much outside the Catholic Church as the Protestant variations.

  1. How does the Greek Church differ from the Catholic Church?

The Greek Churches are both schismatical and heretical. They are separated from the obedience due to the authority of Christ in His true Church. They acknowledge no infallible head. They may retain valid orders and the Mass—things which Protestantism lost—but they have fallen into errors concerning the Holy Trinity, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, and various other points of Christian doctrine.

Radio Replies.



Your quote from Lumen Gentium doesn’t actually say anything demonstrating that the Orthodox don’t have valid Apostolic succession. If it did, then Unitatis Redintegratio, quoted above, wouldn’t have said that, since they were both promulgated by the same ecumenical council. The teaching of the Church is that the Orthodox have valid sacraments and Apostolic succession. Full stop.



I guess us Byzantine Catholics are heretics! I better let my priest know about this :joy:



I don’t think it’s a matter of not having valid sacraments or apostolic succession as it’s a matter that the Orthodox Churches whether they are Eastern or Oriental are not communion with Rome and the Holy Pontiff Pope Francis and do not recognize the dogmas of the Church.

The Catholic Eastern rites recognize all the dogmas of the church while retaining their Orthodox liturgical and theological identity.

So it’s not a matter that they aren’ta true Church as it is receiving from them would be illicit.

So if I went to an Orthodox Divine Liturgy Jesus is really there the faithful are really receiving him but I as a Catholic in communion with Rome cannot receive communion under the Orthodox because they are not being obedient to Rome.

It would be hypocritical for a Catholic to receive communion at a Orthodox church and vice versa an Orthodox to receive communion at a Catholic church because we as Apostolic Christians are not in agreement and Christ commands us to be one.

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No. That is not case. The reality is that is not the true sense that the Church has understood Apostolic Succession. It is not merely a question of having valid orders or sacraments. This would be purely a material understanding of the notion. Traditionally it was always understood as being linked with the Apostolic See.

St. Cyprian of Carthage, d. 258 A. D.

‘The Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with [the heretic] Novatian, she was not with [Pope] Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop [of Rome], Fabian, by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honor of the priesthood, the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way’( Letters ‘69[75]:3 [253 A. D.]).’’



As eastern Catholics we recognize that the Latin Church has formulated it’s own expression of the faith just as we have our own.




Yeah I was trying to say that but it’s kind of hard to put into words.



Is it true, that Byzantine Catholics do not believe in the strict distinction between venial and mortal sin?
also do Byzantine Catholics believe in the same teaching as the Orthodox church when it comes to Church approved divorce and approval of artificial birth control for a married couple under certain limited conditions or do Byzantine Catholics disagree with the Orthodox teachings on that?

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I wonder how many of these folks (American traditonalists only) would be all up in arms over me attending my Protestant wife’s church for a routine service, but would gladly sacrifice all to be at, say, the Protestant funeral service of a figure like Donald Trump…



First: In arguing with Father Edward George, you are arguing with a priest. That is wrong. It is not acceptable behaviour. Father has, in each & every instance, given the correct answer in reply to the answers you are posting. He is to be thanked

Second: the quote above is egregiously wrong & offends current Magisterial teaching. The Holy See has articulated the very unique & special relationship that the Catholic Church [that is to say the Occidental Church together with the Sui Juris Churches of the East in communion with Rome] and the Churches not in communion with Rome enjoy. These venerable Churches of the East are in a completely different category from Reformed Christians

The Catechism of the Catholic Church to that end declares authoritatively:

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church"

With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist"

This is to be held by the Catholic faithful as Church teaching. Failure to do so would put the person in dissent from the Magisterium and its teachings

A further example is had in the address of Pope Saint John Paul II to His Beatitude The Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and the Primate of Greece. The Saint of God’s words included:

1 - In the joy of Easter, I greet you with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Church in Thessalonica: " May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way " (2 Th 3:16). It gives me great pleasure to meet Your Beatitude in this Primatial See of the Orthodox Church of Greece. I offer heartfelt greetings to the members of the Holy Synod and all the hierarchy. I salute the clergy, the monastic communities and the lay faithful throughout this noble land. Peace be with you all!

  1. I wish first of all to express to you the affection and regard of the Church of Rome. Together we share the apostolic faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; we have in common the apostolic heritage and the sacramental bond of Baptism; and therefore we are all members of God’s family, called to serve the one Lord and to proclaim his Gospel to the world. The Second Vatican Council called on Catholics to regard the members of the other Churches “as brothers and sisters in the Lord” ( Unitatis Redintegratio, 3), and this supernatural bond of brotherhood between the Church of Rome and the Church of Greece is strong and abiding


-continuation of Pope Saint John Paul II:

  1. At this meeting, I also wish to assure Your Beatitude that the Church of Rome looks with unaffected admiration to the Orthodox Church of Greece for the way in which she has preserved her heritage of faith and Christian life. The name of Greece resounds wherever the Gospel is preached. The names of her cities are known to Christians everywhere from the reading of the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Saint Paul . From the Apostolic era until now, the Orthodox Church of Greece has been a rich source from which the Church of the West too has drawn for her liturgy, spirituality and jurisprudence (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio , 14). A patrimony of the whole Church are the Fathers, privileged interpreters of the apostolic tradition , and the Councils, whose teachings are a binding element of all Christian faith . The universal Church can never forget what Greek Christianity has given her, nor cease to give thanks for the enduring influence of the Greek tradition.
  1. The Second Vatican Council stressed to Catholics the Orthodox love of the liturgy, through which the faithful “enter into communion with the Most Holy Trinity and become sharers in the divine nature” ( Unitatis Redintegratio, 15). In offering liturgical worship pleasing to God through the centuries, in preaching the Gospel even in dark and difficult times, in presenting an unfailing didaskalia, inspired by the Scriptures and the great Tradition of the Church, the Orthodox Church of Greece has brought forth a host of saints who intercede for all God’s People before the Throne of Grace. In the saints we see the ecumenism of holiness which, with God’s help, will eventually draw us into full communion, which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, 27)

These statements – a few among many many others – express what is the mind of the Church in the midst of and in the wake of Vatican II…not statements from before the most recent ecumenical council. A whole methodology was borne from the College of Bishops and the Second Vatican Council

Third: This statement above is also completely unacceptable in light of Church teaching. Again the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares:

1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. “These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.” A certain communion in sacris , and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."

Catholics are required to assent to this teaching.




Fourth: “Radio Replies” is a resource of no utility relative to modern ecumenical movement. The former is an apostolate that began in the 1930s, decades before Vatican II, which charted an entirely different course on ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue and which is now the point of reference for all work done by Catholics in the ecumenical movement.

As we read in Unitatis Redintegratio, Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism:

  1. Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church - whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church - do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.

The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church



The problem is that in America where the country is predominantly Protestant it’s hard not to have family members that are either Protestant, lapsed Catholics who became Protestant, or Protestants that converted to Catholicism.

By that same standard every time we give money during Christmas time to Salvation Army in those little red buckets were committing a mortal sin by supporting a non Catholic charity.

I think it’s definitely preferable to stay away from Protestant and other religious services beyond Eastern or Oriental Orthodox who are Apostolic but it’s not necessarily realistic in today’s family life.

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First, I think it is fair to say the the “schism” between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is ecclesiological in nature. From Pope Saint JPII encyclical Ut Unum Sint, “The resulting change found its historical expression in the ecclesial act whereby ‘there was removed from memory and from the midst of the Church’ the remembrance of the excommunications which nine hundred years before, in 1054, had become the symbol of the schism between Rome and Constantinople.” So the excommunications of 1054 where the symbol of the schism and they had been removed by Pope Saint Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I on the last day of the Council. What is going on now is a disagreement with upper management if you will.

. . .

Excommunication was removed, schism remains.



Re: Definitions from the CCC
2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. " Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

Schism is schism.

the qualification is necessary. Otherwise there is confusion

Thanks for the nice thoughts & clarification.

As an aside, If St, JPII changed canon law in any area, or on a particular subject, it would be changed. Canon law as I quoted, still refers to the Orthodox as being in schism.



Don Ruggerois

Firstly, let me clarify, - I don’t dispute that the Orthodox have valid orders or sacraments, however this is not what is formally meant by the the term Apostolic Succession, at least not in the Traditional sense. Materially, if you want, we can say they have 'Apostolic Succession, but formally this term always implied a unity with the See of Peter. All I am doing is reminder the reader of this distinction.

“There may be also other societies which glory in the name of Christ; there may even be some which are governed by bishops claiming apostolic succession; but they do not have the Chair of Peter, on whom Christ founded the Church. Therefore they do not belong to the household of Christ; they do not follow him to whom Christ en­trusted the feeding of His lambs and of His sheep; and so they do not belong to the flock of Christ.” - Dogmatic Theology, , Christ’s Church, by Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D.,

The Catechism of the Council of Trent implies the same point saying:

“That all, therefore, might know which was the Catholic Church, the Fathers, guided by the Spirit of God, added to the Creed the word Apostolic. For the Holy Ghost, who presides over the Church, governs her by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession.”- Catechism of the Council of Trent.

As to trying to nullify the words of Fr. Rumble by merely appealing to the ecumenical movement, which you seem to want to use as some sort of magic wand to change reality, well that doesn’t work. Truth doesn’t change because someone merely wishes it away by some words of ecumenism, regardless of who or what are at the source of those words. The Orthodox still hold to heretical views which are directly opposed to Catholic teaching. They are heretics and Schismatics in the true and full sense of the word.

Cardinal A. Ottaviani warned against this false ecumenism which was being promoted after the Second Vatican Council. His text is on the Vatican website words worth pondering:



You are apparently unaware that the “Don” in Don Ruggero is a title and not a name. The poster that you are addressing is a priest.



My apologies. Wasn’t aware that he was a priest. Will edit that post.


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