Do Orthodox Christians think that Catholics are heresy?

I have read a book written by an Russian Orthodox priest, which is discussing the heresy in Orthodox opinions. Something amazing is that, the author criticise the Catholic Church as a great heresy. He listed some common arguments that we all know like Immaculate Conception, Filioque and Pope. But it seems amazing to me that we are HERESY in their eyes while Catholics respect them as SEPARATED BROTHERS.
Can somebody explain if this kind of opinion regarding Catholics is widely admitted among Orthodox Churches?

I hope they don’t think that the Catholic Church is a heresy. But then again, even if they do it doesn’t mean that they are right. The Catholic Church is 100% true. The Orthodox Church is 99% true. They reject the papacy which is why they are not 100% true.

In my experience, it is widely, although not universally, admitted, more often by the Russian Orthodox than by any others, in my experience, along with scathing condemnations by some of them towards St Augustine as “he who led the West to Hell”, and similar views of St Thomas Aquinas. The Orthodox have wildly differing views of St Augustine (although none view him as highly as the West do, and reject most of his Trinitarian theology - which laid the ground for the Filioque - and anthropology - which explained more fully the doctrine of original sin and laid the ground for the Western theories of grace, as rejected by the Orthodox - as mere private speculation, and to those whom he is a saint of piety, but not the Doctor of Grace), and those with a more negative view of him viewing the Western Church as heretical, and those with a more neutral view of him being less likely to (but still far more likely than any Catholic is to call the Orthodox a bunch of heretics; combine this with the nearly-Donatist view of baptism in the Orthodox Church, and you get where the accusations of heresy come from).

In the writings of the late Byzantine Eastern theologians, the Filioque was often condemned as a heresy striking at the heart of the Christian faith - the Trinity - by, in their view, positing two separate principles within the Godhead, distinguishing the eternal procession of theology (which is from the Father) from the temporal “sending” of economy (which is through Christ); the heretic Cyril Lukaris accepted “from the Father through the Son”, and I believe, in spite of its beginnings, Catholics and some Orthodox accept such a phrasing today.

Ironically, the Orthodox did the same thing by positing the essence-energies distinction during the last reformulation of Eastern Orthodox dogmatics by Gregory Palamas.

The roots of this divide are too deep to touch in anything less than a book-length study, and that only after one has a solid grounding in early Christian history. If you want to know more about the different methods of theologizing (the West, Augustinian, the East, based in Origen and the Cappadocians) that led the Western Church to use the Filioque as a buttress of the Trinity against recrudescent adoptionism, while the Orthodox condemned it, read the The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom 600-1700.

Yes. The Orthodox view the Catholic Church as Heretodox. Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in a 9th century council, condemned the filioque and Papal claims and anathemized Pope Nicholas. The Orthodox still hold the filioque as heresy. They view the dogma of infallibility and universal jurisdiction as heresy and a progression of prior Papal aggression. And the IC as a result of Papal claims, that doesn’t fit their theology.
In fact I heard an Orthodox Priest call the greatest tragedies in salvation history, the fall of Adam, betrayal of Judas and Papal infallibility.

I have very little experience on this but my best guess is that they believe like we believe they are. They think we are correct on the majority of things, just the one huge issue that we are wrong on is this idea of a single leader, aka the pope. There could be some orthodox that believe it but I doubt its a large amount.

I know that this will not answer your question, but perhaps if you read this recent post you will get a sense of the dynamic between the two churches.

The problems between us are so multidimensional it is hard to describe in words.

Totally agree with you : ) So sad that it is true already.
Although Orthodox Christians keep the traditions from the apostolic age, but they lack of improvement and further study about the doctrines since they think their faith is right enough. That why the arguments between CC and OC becomes larger and larger.
Pray for the full communion of all Christians.:smiley:

The Orthodox are experiencing a new springtime on the Non-Catholic Religions subforum. Every other topic is about Orthodoxy. :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, how do Catholic Church explain these doctrines or dogmas? To these doctrines we Catholics believe, how can we prove that it is true and to refute Orthodox thus?
E.g, what are the evidences for us to support Immaculate Conception or Papal Infallibility?
Orthodox brothers and sisters can also explain your opinions or understanding about these topics.

Well, the Apostolic Constitutions declaring the dogmatic definitions should say everything about those dogmas.

The irony is that this forum epitimizes western thought.
Could this forum exist anywhere but that four letter word

Ah, the filioque. In John 15:26 Jesus Christ Himself says that HE will send the Holy Spirit from the Father…not that the Father will send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

Good joke.

No joke. Very serious. Jesus Christ Himself includes himself in passing along the Holy Spirit. How can the Orthodox disagree with what the Lord said Himself?

We don’t. We disagree with the filioque, not that Son sends the Holy Spirit in the economy.

Unfortunately, the Russian priest is dead wrong. The CC and Orthodox church are both true. And yes…people will ask: If they are both true,then why does the East reject the papacy,etc,etc. It is more complex than many understand. I have no issues or gripes our against Orthodox brothers and sisters. In fact, I admire them and their liturgies and traditions.

Definitions of “proceed”:

  1. begin action: to go on to do something
  2. continue with action: to continue with a course of action
  3. progress: to progress in a steady or particular manner
  4. go in particular direction: to go in a particular direction, especially forward
  5. develop: to come from or arise from something

There are quite a few definitions for “proceed” and based on a few of them, the action of sending the Holy Spirit most definitely proceeded from the Son as well as the Father. I am no theologian, but I suspect that the addition of “the Son” to the Creed was to recognize that the procession of the HS didn’t just have a starting point…that as Christians we should also recognize how that procession progressed, moved forward and developed…and it did so through the Son.

When you confess the filioque, you must believe de fide that the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle, making the Son both cause and principle of the Spirit’s existence. That is what we disagree about. Your argument by semantics falls short because it isn’t the actual teaching of your Church.

Thank you for pointin gout that what I was saying was not the actual teaching of the Church. I apologize for that. I should look into the teaching of the Church before opening my (big) mouth.

This is what the Church teaches and it makes complete sense to me:

*246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)”. The Council of Florence in 1438 explains: “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. . . . **And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.”**75

247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople. **But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in 447,76 even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. The use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth and eleventh centuries). **The introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.

248 At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father’s character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he “who proceeds from the Father”, it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son.77 **The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It says this, “legitimately and with good reason”,78 for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as “the principle without principle”,79 is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.*80 This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.

I think what is interesting is that this was believed and confessed well before the Great Schism.

So the papacy is 1% of Catholicism?

P.S. I’m only about 90% sure of my math here, so if you disagree feel free to tell me so.

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