Ok, I understand this is probably a little outside the scope of this forum, but I am a Roman Catholic looking for a place to start in learning about Church history, in particular with respect to Greek Orthodoxy. I’m rekindling a friendship with someone from high school who is Greek Orthodox, and I would like to be able to converse intelligently because I have a feeling the subject will eventually come up. I have probably better than average chatechesis within the Roman Catholic Church, but little background in Eastern Catholocism and Church History. I tried starting with a few recent threads, but quite frankly, even the vocabulary is beyond my knowledge, let alone the subject matter.
My foggy recollection from Confirmation class decades ago is that the Greek Orthodox Church is considered NOT to be in communion with the Roman rite, but that it is acceptable for a Greek Orthodox person to receive the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church. I cannot remember if it is acceptable for a Roman Catholic to receive at a Greek Orthodox Church, nor whether a Greek Orthodox Mass (do they even call it a Mass??) fulfills our Sunday obligation. I know there is a group of churches considered to be “in communion” with Rome, but I couldn’t name them if my life depended on it. I really don’t have any knowledge of what differentiates the churches that are considered ‘in communion’ with those that are considered not yet reciprocate receipt of the Eucharist, vs what churches have differences severe enough to be considered schismatic. I do remember a JPII quote about breathing with 2 lungs. What I’ve written here is the extent of my knowledge of the subject.
Specifically, my friend once asked me awhile back, basically something to effect of, Why did the [Roman] Catholic Church arbitrarily decide that some of the patriarchs were no longer considered figures of authority or not part of the church? I think he could tell from my deer-in-the-headlights look I had NO clue what he was talking about because he quickly dropped the subject. Before that, I hadn’t even heard about patriarchs and all that, and I haven’t sought to increase my knowledge further than that until now.
PS- I am a former regular in the Catholic Life Forums, but have been away quite awhile because the forums became a bit of an addiction for me. I may not be back for a few days, but I am definitely going to be checking back in and appreciate the help.
PPS- Would it be appropriate to have a sticky that listed the churches considered to be ‘in communion’ as part of the Eastern Catholic Church? Just a suggestion.