Definition of communion with Rome

So, after reading a thread entitled something like “Accepted doctrines and dogma” (which was very enlightening both to the subjects of how Roman Catholics act and what Eastern Catholics believe.)
I have come to some conclusions, some of which are listed below…How am I doin’ with respect to a balance, a “breathing with both lungs”?

  1. Eastern Catholics have their own venerable and ancient tradition, theology, and
    terminology, essentially in line with Orthodox tradition, theology, etc. and rightly reject
    Latinizations and Western influence being applied to that venerable tradition.
    2 This does not mean that the Roman church is illegitimate, because the West has its own
    theology, tradition, terminology, dogmas, etc. It is when these Western ideas are
    imposed upon a tradition that has no need of them that they become “bad”
  2. Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics (should) recognize 7 truly Ecumenical councils.
    As a Western Catholic I am entitled to adherence to the pronouncements and
    decrees of the 14 “General Synods of the West” which worked more or less with the
    local Latin church and in refutation of the heresy which developed in the West, ie,
    Protestantism, Modernism, Liberalism…which it seems the West has had to deal with
    more than the East.
  3. We have the same faith. But unity does mean uniformity.
  4. Eastern Catholics should be free of Latinzations and always be free to practice their
    expression of the faith which they have always known.
  5. Likewise, the Western church should always be allowed to be free from Eastern-isms
    and free to practice their expression of the same holy, catholic and apostolic faith
    shared with the East. Not to say we can’t learn from each other or that a kind of
    separation is entailed from that.

As an individual I have a few questions:
What exactly do Eastern catholics believe about the Pope of Rome? or
What is the definition of communion with Rome?
I heard that some say there are three Sees of Peter. What should I think?

It seems in my experience, since I know the faith is the same, that I am able to leave behind Western imagery, terminology and theology, and fully accept the views of the East.
Likewise, I can accept Western imagery, terminology and theology, while accepting that the East doesn’t accept it:D
Is this false in your opinion? I mean, I’ve never even been to a Divine Liturgy. But it seems to be very beneficial to my faith and my confidence that I have orthodox, original faith on both sides is comforting, being a revert from the Protestant heresy.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just don’t want to be the typical “roman triumphist”. Thank God for Eastern Christians! This communion we have gives me great joy, always!:thumbsup:

Actually, I really think you know this stuff inside and out and I thank you for a truly comprehensive overview of things!

From an EC point of view, the Pope of Rome has the Primacy of Honour among all the Churches and this primacy was underscored at the Ecumenical Councils as well.

The Pope of Rome has a Primacy of Jurisdiction of the entire Church. This does not mean that he does not respect the right of Particular Churches to govern themselves. Ideally, he would get involved in an Eastern Church’s jurisdiction if called upon to do so in an unresolvable conflict, if asked to by the EC Primate, or if called upon by someone of a Particular EC Church who feels he or she has been unjustly treated by his own church authorities. He could also act unilaterally if a Particular Church broke any canons of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - the EC Patriarch of New Rome does the same.

The Pope of Rome possesses the charism of infallibility/indefectibility when he defines faith and morals or canonizes saints. He does so not independently of the Patristic Church Tradition, but as its protector and defender.


I may be speaking a bit out of my area of direct expertise, but from my study over the years, I’ve formed a few observations. Of course, in order to find what differs in Eastern Orthdox theology, piety, and confession from Roman Catholicism, your best source might be an authority within the Eastern Orthodox communion.

I’ve had a great deal of difficulty nailing down exactly what Eastern Orthodoxy defines as necessary belief or confession, but then, they don’t approach the faith with the same confessional lense that Lutherans do (or, some extent, the way much of Western Christendom does.) It appears to me, that the modern standard of Roman Catholic doctrinal confession is the Catechism of the Catholic Church… which is what was required for subscription by the Anglicans who recently entered communion with Rome.

So, perhaps the way to get an answer to your question, is to pose it to the Eastern Orthodox this way: “What in the Catechism of the Catholic Church divides Eastern Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism?”

Peace be with you.

As always, Alex, exceptionally well said. Good to hear from you again.

Easter blessings be upon you.

Thank you Alex for your answer! :slight_smile:

It brings me to another question though (please forgive my ignorance) and that is: how do Eastern Catholics view the Magisterium?

I wanted to say something in the Lutheran tradition, but I don’t know how . . . :slight_smile:

Easter blessings upon you as well Reverend!


Eastern Catholics are a little like Anglicans - there are both Latin-oriented and Byzantine-oriented and I’m somewhere in the middle.

EC’s generally tell Rome we agree with everything it says, without enunciating too much in terms of what that exactly entails :slight_smile: . Then we turn around and tell Rome to leave us be who we are - since Rome itself wants that :wink: .

I don’t hear anything about the Magisterium in our parishes. The Pope will be mentioned, of course, and that’s about it. For us, what we are to assent to by way of faith is indeed contained in documents like the Catechism of St Peter Mohyla and the Fide Orthodoxa of St John of Damascus. Our Church is publishing its own catechism to present the Catholic faith through the lens of our perspective and I can’t wait to see it! It is assumed that what we believe comes from the Fathers and from the Ecumenical Councils rather than from the Magisterium.

After 1596, the “Orthodox in communion with Rome” (which is exactly how our forefathers called themselves) would be asked what faith they were. The answer would always be, “Orthodox, of course!”

When asked why then the Pope is commemorated in their churches, one recorded answer was, “It must be because the Pope has joined the Orthodox Church!” :wink:

=SpiritFire; some of which are listed below…How am I doin’ with respect to a balance, a “breathing with both lungs”?

  1. Eastern Catholics have their own venerable and ancient tradition, theology, and
    terminology, essentially in line with Orthodox tradition, theology, etc. and rightly reject Latinizations and Western influence being applied to that venerable tradition.

**“Rightly” No, no… **Rome’s influence dod not attempt to interfere with their Traditions and Religious practices. The issue here was politically motivated. One God and ONE leader of ALL of God’s people. The NT has over 100 proofs of this fact of ONE.

This does not mean that the Roman church is illegitimate, because the West has its own:

Gee, THANKS! BUT my friend the bible is a ROMAN CATHOLIC BOOK, written by Roman Catholics [NT], and the RCC is the ONLY Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself in Person; th Eastern churches were part of this for nearly 1,000 YEARS.

  1. Both should (should) recognize 7 truly Ecumenical councils.


But unity does mean uniformity.{/QUOTE}

“Thou art Peter and upon YOU I shall establish MY [SINGULAR] Church”

[quote]6. Likewise, the Western church should always be allowed to be free from Eastern-isms and free to practice their expression of the same holy, catholic and apostolic faith shared with the East.

Reread Matt. 16:15-19 …“the key’s” [all of them] were given to PETER as the Head of the One Faith desired by Christ., It in not a power issue: It a humble Obedience Issue and complying FULLY with the God who is our Creator. The fact that ROME permitted the East their own rites and practices insofar as they conformed to basic Doctrines and Dogma’s was and continues ti be evident. The Schism is a usurption of Power; NOT Theological differences as the PRIMARY cause of the Easter Schism.

What is the definition of communion with Rome?

Communion with Rome means: means ALL of the following: One Common set of Faith Beliefs [practices is a seperate issue], One God; One Person who is God’s represenative on EARTH as chosen by God [the papacy], Seven Sacraments all being practiced fully [again form is not the issue].

**John 17:20-23 "**I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. “

It seems in my experience, **since I know the faith is the same, **


NO!, Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [WHICH MEANS ONE CHURCH[/COLOR]] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, [Meaning only One set of beliefs] one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Is this false in your opinion?

YES it is! The NT has over 100 * references for God’s desire AS IT HAS BEEN FROM GENESIS ON for One God, and One Faith

Your Protestant backgroud of being able to “pick and choose” select and deny are your problem my friend.

Google and READ the Apostles CREED… ONE, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic"*

Your making a HUGE MISTAKE! Pray about and talk to a Catholic Priest.

2nd. Peter 1: 16-21 “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

**Cyprian of Carthage **

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).

Send me a PM if you want more information!

God Bless you,

I think you have an excellent assessment of the issue, and ask very good questions! I’ll leave the answers to the Eastern Catholics here however and look forward to the responses.

Christ ist erstanden!

Wahrlich ist er erstanden!

Oh, yah, ya BETCHA!!


Christos Anesti! Surrexit a Mortuis vere! Alleluia!
God’s blessings be on you all! A special thank you to Alexander Roman - your posts have helped me see things with a sound mind more than you know, and the answers you provided here are a great help. The idea of a Catechism from an Eastern view is exciting for me! (though technically, catechisms are a Wester thing…:p)

However, I did not appreciate so much the rather long and stinging comment by PJM.
You are obviously in great misunderstanding of my position and the position of the Eastern (Orthodox) christians in FULL COMMUNION with Rome.
The Roman catholic Church is not the only church founded by God. The Catholic Church is.
This Catholic church contains 23 sui juris churches, mostly Eastern. The Roman church is one of those sui juris churches. Our patriarch just happens to be the visible head of the universal church.
I am a devoted, baptised Roman catholic, and besides this I am only 15 years old (not that that’s an excuse for anything) and am still learning about a lot of things. My family says I know a lot more than most people my age, though.:smiley:
I also love and sometimes prefer the Eastern theology and tradition. Since it is part of the Catholic Church, what are you railing at? I apologize in advance if I too have misunderstood YOUR position:o
Also, I am not a Protestant and never really was. You could say I “lapsed”, but essentially that was only because my parents did (I am NOT blaming here…they had a really, really bad experience with some really, really bad priests and lots of Liturgical abuse after VatII)
and I had much less say about where we drove to church on Sunday, being 15. I came back to the faith through the back door via an interest in liturgical manuscripts.
Just this Lent we all came back to the One Church, thanks be to God for ever! Pray that we stay here.
But this is beside the point.
Again, a warm thank you and the peace and Joy of the Resurrection be with you!


Christ is Risen!

Just to touch on a couple of the most obvious problems here… the books of New Testament canon were not written by Roman Catholics.

The Apostle’s Creed in English reads “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church…” The current English translation in use by the Latin Church of the Nicene Creed, which you rather seem to be referring to, reads “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church…” The new translation being adapted by the Latin Church in Advent 2011 reads: “And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”

In the Roman Rite of the Latin Church in the Rite of Baptism the elect are asked “Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church…”.

None of these nor other similar professions of faith use the word “Catholic”. In all instances the word is “catholic”, typically translated as “universal”.

Here’s for PJM:

Credo in Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum. Qui Conceptus est de spirtu Sancto, natus ex Maria virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus. descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis. Ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis. inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

This is from memory and my traditional Latin breviary, which I use very often.
The fact you assumed I was some pick and choose Protestant was offensive.
BTW, the word UNAM (one) does not appear in the apostles creed with reference to the church.

I know my tradition and my Latin is coming along quite well. How’s yours? :cool:

5 loaves, looks like you got there before me. :slight_smile:

Also keep in mind that although not teaching Latin views on the dogmas, the Eastern Catholics do not deny them.

Eastern Catholic representatives were at Vatican I and II.

Constantinople IV (869), Lyons (1245), and Florence (1438) also had eastern representatives.

Some Eastern Catholic Churches were always in communion with Rome, that is they did not have a reunion.

All Catholics are united in profession of faith, Holy Mysteries, and hierarchy.

Interestingly the Eastern Canon Law (CCEO) shows how the Catholic Church is different than the Orthodox churches.

Canon 54

  1. Decrees of an ecumenical council do not have obligatory force unless they are approved by the Roman Pontiff together with the fathers of the council and are confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated at his order.
  2. When the college of bishops takes collegial action in another manner, initiated or freely accepted by the Roman Pontiff, in order for its decrees to have binding force, they need this same confirmation and promulgation.

With respect to 54.1, since all the first Seven Councils had the participation of Rome, it isn’t an issue.

With respect to 54.2, that doesn’t take into account the right of EC Churches to govern themselves under their Patriarch/Primate/Major Archbishop.

Our Church Synod has made many decisions without asking for papal permission first - only informing the Holy See later.


“Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

At least, that is what I’ve learned growing up :smiley:

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