Do Orthodox consider Catholic Church to have the sacraments?


I have read an expression akin to “assured manifestations of the Church,” and apparently some Eastern Orthodox believe the Catholic Church centered in Rome cannot have “assured manifestations of the Church.”

So do they believe we have an authentic Eucharist? Why or why not? And how do they (you, if Orthodox) know?


I think different Orthodox have different opinions on the validity of Catholic or Protestant sacraments. It isn’t a question with one answer.

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Maybe.

The Orthodox are not a monolith in total agreement. They are divided to a certain degree. Metropolitan opinions vary, and the Eastern and Oriental are not fully united.


I’m Byzantine Catholic but here are some quotes that I have collected over time:

Father Georges Florovsky said there is eccelesiology in the Roman Catholic Church in his article, “On the Limits of the Church.”

Father Georges Florovsky said that “the Church is operative in the Roman Catholic Church, but not fully present.”

Reception of Roman Catholics by Chrismation was affirmed by the Council of Trullo, the 1667 Synod in Moscow and the Council of Jerusalem.

Saint Mark of Ephesus after the Council of Florence, forbade the re-baptism of Roman Catholics.

Saint Philaret of Moscow spoke of the separation as a would in Christ’s body, and he spoke of the Western Church as a wounded half dead limb. He calls the Roman Church a Church that’s not “fully true.” he doesn’t call Rome a false Church.

I think that overall they do, in my experience anyway. The ones that don’t tend to be protestant converts to Orthodoxy.



Father Georges Florovsky said that “the Church is operative in the Roman Catholic Church, but not fully present.”

This is probably a good summary quote in general.

But the question would be: What does this mean? Does it include the Eucharist, but just a lacking ecclesiology, i.e., the same thing Catholics would say re: the Orthodox?


Since the “Orthodox” are made up of various churches, with (for example) A in communion with C and B in communion with C, but no communion between A and B- there’s no one answer. The most vocal answer that I’m aware of is no, but the opinion can hardly be said to make up all of Orthodoxy.

For our purposes, it doesn’t matter- we have a direct line of succession dating back to the apostles. We’re the Church that Jesus founded. Our sacraments don’t need recognition from outside the Church to be valid.


I’ve seen Orthodox explain that, “The know where grace is, but have no certainty as to where it is not.” on this issue.

Opinions vary, but it would be unusual to see an Orthodox claim either that there completely is or completely is not in the RC church.



The Bishops I’ve met and heard from in no way lead one to believe that the RCC is part of our Church. And it is also never implied that the Sacraments of the Church exist outside the Church. Of course God graces all mankind, so I’m sure there are good things happening in the RCC for its faithful members.


I’m ex-Orthodox and it really depends on the autocephalous church. They are not like the Catholic Church and are much more broken up so in regards to what sacraments are valid they seem confused. I may be wrong on this one but I think the Bulgarian Orthodox even said all non-Eastern Orthodox baptisms are invalid. I’m very certain they consider our Eucharist and Ordinations as invalid.


I’m Orthodox.

Yes, I’ve heard varying opinions. But usually those that denounce (whatever) outside of Orthodoxy are rather zealous Protestant converts (often still newish) who quote Saints from back before 1054 who are referring to heretics outside the Church. Or some fairly insular ethnic priests, sometimes, who seem not to have a lot of exposure outside of very close circles.

As far as I can determine, the proper Orthodox approach is - we don’t judge outside our own communion - we know where the Church is but we don’t know where it isn’t - and we don’t presume to limit God in how/where He chooses to bestow grace. Likewise we don’t assure grace outside of Orthodoxy, but then again the grace of Orthodox Sacraments can be prevented by the wrong disposition of the person receiving them.

We don’t consider Catholics to be part of our Church, and due to doctrinal/dogmatic differences we can’t fully affirm them. This applies to the apostolic succession as well, since doctrinal fidelity is also required. But is there grace in Catholic Sacraments - officially? You will find differences. However, it is generally accepted that Catholics cannot be re-baptized and at times I believe have been received simply through profession/confession. Generally though Chrismation would be required since it is slightly different, I believe, from Catholic confirmation.


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