Can you explain the different Catholic Eastern Rites?

The Catholic has latin and eastern churches. What are they? Is the eastern catholic church the eastern orthodox or are they different? Is the latin church the western church?

Why is the catholic church divided into east and west?

Also, is Eastern Orthodox a catholic church?

I searched google and it said that latin catholic church as 23 independent churches and eastern catholic has 22 independent churches. i am afraid that protestants will use this to proved that catholic also has its division of churches.

Can you guys shed light on these churches?

Also, each catholic churches has different rites. How can we defend this?

This link should be give you the answer you need. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by this link, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
**Recommended Reading:
**
[LIST]
*]Eastern & Oriental Catholic Rites & Churches - A Reference Thread
[/LIST]

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