Can Catholics disprove Eastern Orthodoxy?

How do Catholics disapprove the claims of Eastern Orthodoxy to be the true Church?

1 Like

I think you mean disprove i.e. refute


As eagerbeaver said, it looks like you meant disprove / refute.

“Eastern Orthodoxy” as a “Church” didn’t exist in the beginning. We don’t see the name “Orthodox Church” in writing till much later in history. We don’t see the name in the creed. What we see from the beginning is the “Catholic Church”, that Jesus established on Peter and all those in union with Peter. And Jesus wants not just some loose understanding of unity, Jesus wants perfect unity in what He established John 17:20-23 And that same Church is here today with Pope Francis.266th successor to St Peter at the helm


I don’t like the name argument. Both churches claim to be the catholic and orthodox church professed by the Church Fathers. The Orthodox churches are legitimate churches that have kept apostolic succession and also kept the deposit of faith, sacramental theology, and so on, very much largely intact. They therefore can claim continuity with the churches established by the apostles.

Now, I agree with you on the unity of the Church, Peter and the Apostolic See as the archetype of bishops and all other sees, etc… but I just wanted to comment on the argument by name.


They are NOT united to Peter. They broke that connection. Therefore, they are NOT Catholic. And one could say, just thinking out loud, since they are NOT in union with Peter, a definite requirement made by Jesus, how then can they claim to be “orthodox” ?

It’s NOT plural it’s singular when talking about the see of Peter.


In a demonstrable, objective way?

No. You cannot disprove Orthodoxy. Or any other faith, for that matter.

But for the Catholic faithful, as you see above, the bar for showing that Orthodoxy is false is set subjectively low.

1 Like

It is, and always will be, a silly argument. Born in the “finest” traditions of quintessential western legalism.


Sure they’re united with Peter. Their’s is a better representation of the Peter that *lead the new Church rather than the post-middle ages Catholic Peter that *rules the Church.

Christ appointed more than one apostle.

1 Like

The “sees” was just a typo. The Orthodox are not in communion with Rome, but they are still legitimate apostolic churches. And Patristics often refer to the “catholic and orthodox church,” which we both claim to be. The origin of the name isn’t what we base our legitimacy on.


Indifferentism / latitudinarianism are errors AND prevalent today


Spoken like a true Catholic, Steve :slight_smile:

1 Like


For the record, we know “Orthodox Church” appears in writing. So When (dates) are those quotes you mention? And references properly referenced, please

1 Like

The Catholic encyclopedia mentions it’s use prior to the schism of Photius, but doesn’t list a date:

How “Orthodox” became the proper name of the Eastern Church it is difficult to say. It was used at first, long before the schism of Photius, especially in the East, not with any idea of opposition against the West, but rather as the antithesis to the Eastern heretics — Nestorians and Monophysites. Gradually, although of course, both East and West always claimed both names, “Catholic” became the most common name for the original Church in the West, “Orthodox” in the East.

1 Like

You do know the Orthodox Church calls itself the Catholic Church right?


You are correct but he phrasing should be changed somewhat. In order to be Catholic a particular Church mush be in communion with Rome, not united to Rome. There is a difference.

Catholic cannot disapprove the claims of the Eastern Orthodox as being a true Church. The Catholic Church considers the Orthodox to be “Sister Churches” as outlined in the Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. The Catholic Church also declared that the Orthodox Churches have true orders and sacraments.


That’s is the question do you have proof the broke communion?

Jesus established clearly one apostle as leader over all. That was Peter. I’ve given the references many times properly referenced

The Orthodox are NOT united to Peter… Unless they accept the following

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches states it in these terms: “The bishop of the Church of Rome, in whom resides the office (munus) given in a special way by the Lord to Peter, first of the Apostles and to be transmitted to his successors, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church on earth; therefore in virtue of his office (munus) he enjoys supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church which he can always freely exercise.” (Canon 43 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)


  • to lead … to go before to be a leader to rule, command to have authority over a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseer or leader of the churches the leader in speech, chief, spokesmana) to rule, govern

  • deserves cooperation by those who are led is part of the definition

Gee, sounds like the Papacy,


it refutes the idea that Peter is only first among equals … which is false.


Are they in union with the chair of Peter? No.


And do you have proof that Rome is the chair of Peter?

Re: “sister churches” there are 2 explanations

  1. Sister Churches

  2. Sister Church clarification 2013

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