Eastern vs. Western Catholicism


I am mostly familiar with Roman Catholicism. I know that the liturgy is different, but I read that Eastern has some theological differences from Roman. What are these differences?

The theological differences are more in the wording or explanation of some doctrines, such as the Real Presence. Western Catholicism uses the description of Transubstantiation to attempt to describe what happens to the Bread and Wine in becoming the Body and Blood, but the Eastern Catholic rites don’t attempt to describe what happens. They leave it as a Mystery of God.

Put simply, they hold to the same doctrines, but they might not use the same language in describing what goes on. The Western Church tends to use a lot of philosophy.

This is my understanding.

This is a great question and I hope to hear much from our eastern brothers and sisters.

From what little I know…bzkoss236 gave a good response above.

In western Catholicism, or Latin the Latin rite, there seems to be a greater emphasis on the “rational” - on explanation - the “Thomas Aquinas” type of approach. The Eastern Rites tend more toward the mystical…they are more content to leave God’s mysteries be mysteries rather than something requiring explanation.
This is not to say that the mystical is absent from the western Church. We find this approach in Saints such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Catherine of Sienna, Francis of Assisi and others.

On a personal note - Though I am a Latin Catholic myself (from the cradle) I am very attracted to this view as I see it as “cutting through” a lot of detail and focusing more firmly on that which is truly important in our lives as Christians…


I concur with the two people above. :thumbsup:

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