Doctrinal Differences Between Romans & Melkites?


Hello @CorAdCorLoquitur,

So, in soon to be Saint Pope Paul VI decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite, Oreintalium Eclesiarium, he states in the opening sentence, “The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church.” So not only liturgy but also their “ecclesiastical traditions.” Ecclesiastical traditions include not only liturgy but discipline, devotions and theology.

The document goes on to say, “The Sacred Council, therefore, not only accords to this ecclesiastical and spiritual heritage the high regard which is its due and rightful praise, but also unhesitatingly looks on it as the heritage of the universal Church. For this reason it solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, as much as those of the West, have a full right and are in duty bound to rule themselves, each in accordance with its own established disciplines, since all these are praiseworthy by reason of their venerable antiquity, more harmonious with the character of their faithful and more suited to the promotion of the good of souls.”

The documents may not address articles of faith that are binding to all Catholics, but they do state that we as Eastern Catholics have a duty to continue practicing our spiritual heritage (liturgy, theology, discipline and so forth).

This is very, very simplified but when a good friend of mine, Roman Catholic, asked me what the differences were in theology I explained it like this: the Latin Church teaches that 4+3=7, the Byzantine Churches teach that 5+2=7 and the Oriental Churches teach that 6+1=7. All equal 7, just the way in which 7 is made that is different. Now, there is way more to it than that (Immaculate Conception, Purgatory etc.), but I think it’s a good example.

There are many on this forum who are much smarter than I so if I have something wrong, please correct me!



I have no idea. All I know is that I love this rite (and other eastern ones)


If a Roman Catholic finds a particular Melkite priest who he feels that he can confide in then I recommend that he do so and that goes for a Melkite in relation t a Roman Catholic priest.


Since you know better than the last several popes, there is no-one on this site who is capable of offering a response . . .



That’s a bit unfair. The first quote is taken out of context. He was saying that he is not of the particular Roman Catholic Church, but of one of the Byzantine Churches sui iuris. And many of those Churches do have their own catechisms. Nothing wrong with that.

While they’re liturgical traditions and theology are “nothing more, nothing less” than the Eastern Orthodox, they are fully Catholic in an authentic way. They’re just as Catholic as you are.


The particular churches, like the Latin church, are all members of the same Roman Catholic Church, with equal privileges and obligations.

Sui juris or “autonomous” does not mean what “autonomous” means in normal everyday English. Quite the opposite, in fact.

As for the CCC, it is not a “rule book”.


I’ll be blunt: either get your bigotry in line with papal teaching, or find another website.

“Offensive” is not a strong enough world.



Not of the “same Roman Catholic Church”, but of the “same _Catnolic _ church” !



This is a myth. The term was used in official Catholic pronouncements both before and after the reformation. The term is of strictly Catholic origin. I don’t know who made this myth up, but it has become popular in some circles of (totally misguided) Catholics.

As much as it is a myth that “Roman Catholic” refers only to the Latin Rite or excludes the other particular churches.

When I lived in Chicago three years ago, I would pass by a Byzantine Rite church twice a day on my way to and from work. The sign posted out from said “Roman Catholic Church, Byzantine Rite”.


I mean, if you want to disagree with the multitude of historians and the church itself, you’re certainly free to take that position.

It’s common in an Protestant-majority or Orthodox-majority country to find that.


There are no historians who have ever said that and the Church, of course, quite firmly believes otherwise, It’s a BS story spread within a clique of crank Catholics.


Oy vey.

Some writers, such as Kenneth Whitehead and Patrick Madrid, argue that the only proper name for the church is “the Catholic Church”. Whitehead, for example, states that “The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself; it is a relatively modern term, and one, moreover, that is confined largely to the English language. The English-speaking bishops at the First Vatican Council in 1870, in fact, conducted a vigorous and successful campaign to insure that the term Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council’s official documents about the Church herself, and the term was not included.”



In fact, it is. It’s a binding Rule of Faith.

The Catechism is an Apostolic Constitution, which is the highest level of decree a pope issues. Indeed, the 1992 Catechism is, by its very terms, an Apostolic Constitution on the Deposit of Faith. (See, pgs. 1-6, under the heading, "Apostolic Constitution: Fidei Despositum . . . [w]e offer the entire Church this reference text . . . [for] the Latin Church and the Oriental Catholic Churches. The Catechism is a statement of the [universal] Church’s faith and catholic doctrine attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium . . . Therefore, I ask all the Church’s Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously.) (For more on the deference due to apostolic constitutions, see,

Pope Saint John Paul II could not have, in all due respect for the Eastern Churches, made it clearer that these articles of faith are to bind the entire universal Church - East and West.

Thus, to me, the layman (or person without due theological stature) who denies that the elements of EEOC 597 §1 are satisfied by this Apostolic Constitution on the Deposit of Faith is a minimalist lawyer, indeed Pharisaical, for evading the express intent of the Pope on an authoritative matter of faith and morals.

Canon 597 §1 from the Eastern Code of Canon Law. The Roman Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority if, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful who is to confirm his fellow believers in the faith, he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

Of course, as the text makes clear, the CCC should not replace the catechisms of particular Churches, but it is clearly unacceptable to materially contradict an Apostolic Constitution on the Deposit of Faith promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II. And because the CCC is taught authoritatively on the entire universal Church by the Supreme Pastor, I submit my intellect and will to it. Could one really be “in communion with Rome” and not do so?


Pax bonum


That doesn’t contradict what I wrote. And no, I was not saying that the CCC applies only to the Latin Rite. Quite the opposite.

The Catholic Church has an official rule book, and it is not the CCC, but the Code of Canon Law:


False distinction; there are two different kinds of rules here: those legislating behavior and those legislating belief. Canon Law governs behavior whereas the Catechism (along with all other Scriptural and Magisterial sources) governs belief. Canon law exists to protect the Deposit of Faith. And both Canon Law and the Catechism are auhrortivative rules.


The only thing that rubs me the wrong way with some Melkites is their seemingly overly ecumenical nature. They seem to want to be Eastern Orthodox in faith but catholic in identification.

I have seen melkites who will deny dogmas of the faith like the filioque, immaculate conception, papal infallibility and supremacy and say that those are “western” or Latin dogmas as if there are two truths, an eastern and a western. It’s nonsensical and disrespectful to both Catholics and EO.

The argument about 7 ecumenical councils is also one that troubles me. The whole basis is that the EO weren’t at the others… if this is the standard of what makes a council ecumenical then truly none of the seven councils were ecumenical as they practically didn’t have any western presence bar one or two prelates and the second ecumenical council only had 150 eastern bishops. So can we say those are just general councils of the east?

The thing around the term “general council” is that it means “ecumenical council” but is just traditionally the latin term for it. The latin church calls them the universal synods too. There are 21 ecumenical councils not 7. In fact Vatican II explictly called itself the 21st ecumenical council which all Melkite prelates present signed off to.


oh boy…


What docility to the Roman Pontiffs! Beautiful!


What parish?


Are there any Melkite Martyrs for unity with the Papacy? How do the Melkites view their Slavic counterparts such as the Ukrainians and Carpatho-Rusyns as well as the “Latinized” converts in Romania such as Blessed Vladimir Ghika who became Catholic specifically to be more Orthodox, in his own understanding?

There was a time when people died rather than be considered Orthodox.Now Catholics are trying to be as Orthodox as possible and style themselves “Orthodox in communion with Rome.” How is that possible when neither the Orthodox or the Latins think its possible? What is this Tertium Quid?

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