How did the orthodox churches get started?


this is probably supposed to be common knowlage, but I don’t know the answer. I am confused about greek/russian/eastern orthadox churches. they are sorda catholic right? Like, we acknowlage their priesthood and stuff? but they are not under the pope? why not? how does that work out? how did that come to pass?

than, what about the different rights in the catholic church? like in the eastern right (not to be confused with eastern orthadox), priests can marry and such. I know a little bit of that history, but not much. can anyone clear this up for me a little? it’s a bit confusing. are we supposed to be hoping for the orthadox churches to “come home” like we hope for our protestant brothers and sisters? what about the eastern right? are they under the pope?


Depends on which Orthodox church you are talking about. The churches of Antioch, Alexandria, etc., were founded by apostles, just as Rome was. Others, such as Russia, were founded by missionary activity.



The Orthodox Churches were the original Eastern rites of the Catholic Church. There were various schisms in the 1st millenium, but finally there was a “great schism” attributed to the year 1054 (which isn’t entirely accurate I think). Since then the Eastern Orthodox (as these rites have become to be known) and the Roman Catholic Church (ie the Western rite of the Catholic Church) have not been in full communion with one another. Probably the greatest area of dispute is in the authority of the Bishop of Rome. But maybe the original dispute was over the “filioque” clause in the Creed. The Western rite added this clause, so that we say: “the Holy Spirit… proceeds from the Father and the Son” whereas orginally, and still in the Orthodox Churches, the Creed lacked the “…and the Son” (ie filioque in Latin). Now the Orthodox maintain incorrectly that this is heresy, but they say it is heresy because they think that we’re saying that the Son is the source of the Holy Spirit; which we’re not saying. We say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son; but with the Father as the source. I think that’s right…

Anyways, in my opinion, the filioque clause is not doctrine but discipline; therefore the Western rite has absolutely every right to change it as they see fit (and indeed the reason for adding the filioque clause was to combat heresy). And so the insistence of the Orthodox that we should not do that is really them imposing their authority on us; which they have no right to do. Sure if it were heresy then they’d have a case, but it is not heresy; it’s purely a matter of our discipline. I hope you understand.

Finally, the Eastern rites are Eastern Catholics who maintain the practice and discipline of the Eastern Orthodox, but are in communion with Rome. This is how I understand it anyway.

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