So I had this question nagging me for awhile. Let us assume that Protestantism (in any form) is not truly apostolic. But this leaves me with a problem. Both EO and RCC claim to be the true apostolic Church (or at least truer to the apostolic Church than the other). So my question is what are the argument which support the RCC over the EO and visa versa?
This is the big question for me, but since I’m neither Catholic nor Orthodox,
We both claim that we are each Apostolic, there’s no argument in that area. Catholic as well as Orthodox have apostolic succession. As for the differences, I’ll let others or a search in CA answer that because my interest of the differences never kept my attention long enough to study. All I know is that I know we Catholics have succession and fullness of truth, why then would I leave? Where would I go?
If I was coming from a different faith tradition and was looking for apostolic succession, and the truth, I’d definitely have to choose the between all the different rites of Catholicism and the Orthodox Churches… no others would do.
Both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have apostolic foundations. The Catholic Church (generally) traces it’s roots to Rome, the seat of Peter and Paul. However, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch was also founded by these two. The Orthodox Church in Jerusalem was founded on Pentecost, the church in Constantinople was founded by Andrew, in Alexandria by Mark just to name a few. The history of the Church has a common “trunk” I supposed you’d say, though all came from Christ. The most visible issue seems to be the primacy of the Bishop of Rome (not here called the Pope, as there is a pope in Alexandria as well). Orthodox Christians view him as, if anything, the first among equals of the Patriarchs. Currently, due to the Schism, the patriarch of Constantinople holds that distinction.
Both have grand traditions, both have sound theology. The separation is due (from what my humble studies have shown) to the sin of man more than anything else. Greed, Pride and Envy will always plague organizations of men. We pray for healing between the two, and that both sides will put aside their stubborn pride and bend their stiff necks for the greater glory of God and His Church.
There are only a very few differences between RCC and EO. first off, the RCC was the only Church until i believe 1056, when the eastern church denied the pope as leader of the Church. this is called the great schism and led to the formation of the two different churches. the EO still had apostolic succession as posters above have said, so they validly celebrate the Eucharist and all of the other sacraments of the Church. even their priests are authentic priests and bishops are authentic bishops ect.
the only difference is that the EO do not accept the pope as their leader and there are a few differences in liturgical celebration. other wise we are basically the same. many of our dogmas are the same, they honor Mary as we do, they have saints. a Catholic may receive confession and Eucharist from a EO church if there is no RCC around the area, or whatever the situation. But the RCC is the true Church because it was the Church founded by Christ and was the only Church til they (EO) broke off so i guess that is our argument that we are the true apostolic Church. history even shows that there was no other Church except us til 1056. hope this helps
The Orthodox Churches lack only the successor of Peter as their head. Otherwise they also bear the four marks of the true Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
At least begin by recognizing this difference: Both the RCC and the EO accept that the other is of apostolic origin, whereas neither accepts that any Protestant sect has such a claim. The heart of the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox is disagreement over the role of the papacy. History sheds light on this stuff, too.
In AD 190, Pope Victor I heard that Eastern Catholics were celebrating Easter on a different day than Western Catholics, and the pope was on the verge of excommunicating the Eastern patriarchs when his advisors explained to him that in fact, the Apostles themselves had not all passed down the same tradition for determining the date of Easter. Once Pope Victor learned that the different eastern Easter date was of apostolic origin, he knew it couldn’t be wrong and let it go.
Both ‘lungs’ as John Paul II referred to them…both are founded by the Apostles, the majority of apostoles founding eastern churches.
SS Peter and Paul were sent to Rome where they were martyred, and their tombs are now scientifically being studied as the actual remains…St. James the Greater is said to have gone to Spain with little success of conversions…but they came later on…
It is the tradition of faith handed down to us by the Apostles that we adhere to.
The Eastern Church has different cultural, historical, geographic, and political differences from the West…but the sacraments and liturgy are the same…I would dare say that the Latin Church is more universal and evangelical…through retaining the Seat of Peter.
Christ instituted the Seat of Peter, the Rock along with the other apostles as founders…but they always had a head…you can’t have two heads…without breaking the sacred unity and communion.
To help people better understand our foundation of faith and how it has developed, there is a new website out by the Vatican…
We are in the Year of Faith 2012/2013, the Pontifical Council Promoting New Evangelization…the website has several languages you can enter.
There is a study on each section of our foundation and how it developed down through the ages:
Our faith in Christ founded through the Apostles and their Disciples,
The Church Fathers
The Catholic Catechism of the Church and the Compendium
Women of Faith
And Vatican II…the present interpreter of the Life of Christ and HIs Word for today…and this Pontifical Council for this work drawing on the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II.
You have to understand Catholicism from its context down through history, centered on the reality that Jesus Christ IS LOGOS, the Word of God Made Flesh…upon Word and Eucharist that our faith centers.
The main problem is not so much theological as it is ecclesiastical/political. In short the great schism occurred because of pride…Not theology…Naturally since the split, there have been some other issues come up such as the filoque in the creed and some teachings regarding the BVM.
That said, the similarities FAR outweigh the differences between the two. Both at truly Apostolic. Both are biblically structured - That is - they adhere to an authoritative, councilior Church structure. Each has valid sacraments including the Real presence in the Eucharist. Etc…Etc…Etc…
I have every confidence that, because of their ancient and common roots the “two lungs” of the Church will ultimately be able to overcome any differences.
Here is a story/conversation piece between two friends…one went EO, one went Rome. Hopefully, you can glean something from it to help you:
It’s sort of a shame that when the Germans were wrestling between the RCC and Luther, that representatives of the Orthodox churches didn’t reach out to the German princes and say “Hey, why don’t you let us help you with that.”
Politically, Europe would look very different, I bet. So would America, for that matter.
The reformers did reach out to the East, but faired rather poorly.
Well, this is the problem I’m facing, so…
Jon - Thanks for that Link…
I’ve just started glancing at it and it looks fascinating…
In my view There are certain rather excellent solutions to this issue - Just some things to consider…
A) Joining either one will result in receiving a valid Eucharist. This is a key factor in my mind. Likewise one assures oneself of being in a communion that is clearly traceable to the Apostles…PLUS with the fact that the two churches are in talks regarding the various issues is most affirming.
B) Joining an Eastern Catholic Rite, assures one of communion with the Holy See while embracing the liturgy and spirituality of the East.
C) Joining the Latin Rite has the same benefit of communion with the Holy See, AND there is also a wonderful"mystic" tradition in the western Church.
Just some thoughts…
When you consider the differences between East and West…all the more you need a center to connect the two…
The papacy’s great work is to be sign of unity and communion in the Church, that transcends all cultural, geographic, politlcal inclinations…our flesh so to speak.
All of us are called to let go of our will, and let God’s will rule in our hearts and souls.
A is definitly true and I always keep that in mind.
B is impossible, there are no uniate churches in my country and no ‘amateuristic’ eastern rite church in a reasonable distance. Would my city have, for example a Melkite or a Ukrainian Catholic church then I would most likely join it. But then again, the nearest Orthodox Church is far away too, and there is no way I can afford the travelling costs each week.
C is probably the only reasonable answer. There are Latin churches at walking distances. The only problem is that I have eastern opinions on many things and am still struggling with some (not all) post-schism dogmas. I also don’t really like some of the popular Latin devotions, but that’s just a matter of taste.
Tough position to be in :o
That makes sense.
With regards to “C”, I agree that it really seems to be the only workable answer for you.
In regards to issues you are struggling with…My solution was to keep it simple and simply “accept”, upon the biblical authority of the Church, those things which troubled me. This, I felt, was not unlike the idea of “accepting” that theoretical physicists knew what they were talking about in matters scientific even if I did not understand these matters personally. This trust in the Church, which I firmly believe in, allows me to avoid the necessity of personally ruling on the validity of a given teaching.
Then - as to the matters of having “eastern tastes” in devotions etc…I must say that I tend to also…That is the reason I promote the book in my signature. It’s interesting how “eastern” it is in many ways even though the saints quoted are all Latin Rite Catholics.
So - what I am saying is that the Latin Church is large enough and diverse enough to accommodate a person with “eastern” leanings. I mean - one goes to mass for the Eucharist - Latin Catholic or Eastern Catholic or Orthodox all will provide this.
What devotions one undertakes privately is just that - private…
Thank you for your advice