In Union With Rome?

… And were they all founded by Apostles?

Coptic (Egyptian) Christian Church
The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
Orthodox Catholic Church
Syriac Orthodox Church (Antioch)
Roman Catholic Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Church of the East
St Thomas Christians

Is there a link listing all that are in Union with Rome?


:hmmm: I have heard from some sources that St. Mark had something to do with the start of the Coptic church but I cannot confirm that.

Here is the entire Q posed to me. How to answer?

Which of the most ancient Christian religions is the original Church founded by Jesus Christ?

Coptic (Egyptian) Christian Church
The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
Orthodox Catholic Church
Syriac Orthodox Church (Antioch)
Roman Catholic Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Church of the East
St Thomas Christians

All were founded by early apostles. All of them can trace their presumed supreme authority directly back to Christ. So which one is right? Assuming that your answer is “The Roman Catholic Church,” can you prove it? For the RCC to be the exclusive and only “True Church of God,” obviously one must prove that these other claimants are not true. So what made the Bishop of Rome bigger, better or more authoritative than anyone else? Surely there must be something unique to Rome and its bishop that no other line of bishops can claim, right? So what is it?

The same name can refer to different churches / communities…

Coptic Church was founded, according to tradition, by St. Mark.

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria: schismatic since 451 AD
Coptic Catholic Church: in full communion with Rome, under Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church: separated in 1959 from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which in turn was in schism since 451 AD, and is thus also in schism.

Church of the East (aka Nestorian Church): in schism since 431 AD (Nestorian Schism), eventually separated into two distinct bodies: the Assyrian Church of the East (in schism) and the Chaldean Catholic Church (in full communion).

Chaldean Church traces its roots to St. Thomas

Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East (aka Assyrian Church of the East): schismatic since 431 AD
Chaldean Catholic Church: in full communion with Rome, under the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon Louis Raphaël I Sako

The Syriac Church of Antioch traces its roots to St. Peter.

Syriac Orthodox Church: in schism since 451 AD.
Syriac Catholic Church: in full communion with Rome, under the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians Ignatius Joseph III Yonan

“Roman Catholic Church” is a generic name for the Church of Jesus Christ. The one Church of Christ has been universally recognized as bearing the four marks: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. After the first schisms began to occur, a gradual development led to a universal acceptance that the Church is also Roman inasmuch as the See of Rome (known as the Apostolic See or Holy See) is the See of the successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, whom is the visible head of the Church. The term “Roman Catholic Church” thus describes the One Church of Christ, which is composed of 23 sui iuris “rites” or “churches”, the largest of which is the Latin Church. More here. The Latin Church itself generally traces its roots in Rome to the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, the former having been the first bishop and pope, dying a martyr on Vatican Hill, where the Basilica of St. Peter currently stands.

Orthodox Catholic Church: in schism since 1054 AD. This is actually composed of several self-governing (autocephalous) ecclesial bodies (a list here).

The Saint Thomas Christians, also called Syrian Christians or Nasrani, are an ancient community of Semitic Christians from Kerala, India who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle. Historically the Saint Thomas Christian community was part of the Church of the East. The Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several different Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and independent bodies. The following are in full communion with the Holy See:

  • Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, headed by the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Cardinal Mar George Alencherry
  • Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, headed by the Major Archbishop Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos.

The bodies in schism are the ones that at some point in history introduced errors in the apostolic faith. I suggest you read the Church Fathers to learn about the role of the Church of Rome and the primacy of the Bishop of the Apostolic See. The Roman Catholic Church has preserved the faith and treasured the apostolic deposit of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Holy Roman Church includes 22 Eastern Catholic sui iuris churches.

I suggest that you post your question in the Eastern Catholic Forum, too. :slight_smile:

Just for the OP’s benefit, or the benefit of anyone else who might read your post and be confused (there’s a lot of information in it)…

Not sure what you mean by “separated”, but the EOTC was granted autocephaly by Pope Yusab II (1946-1956), after some ~16 centuries of being administered by the Egyptian Church (ever since HH St. Athanasius the Apostolic sent bishops to administer the church there). This meant that for that time they had Egyptian bishops, but Ethiopian priests, monks, etc.(sort of similar to the situation in Subsaharan Africa with the Latin church for a long time, wherein the locals would be Senegalese, Rwandan, or whatever, but they’d be overseen by Belgians, French, Italians, etc.) There was in no way a schism between the COC and the EOTC that brought about this situation. It was purely in recognition of their deserved ecclesiastical autonomy, and they remain in communion with all the OO today.

Church of the East (aka Nestorian Church): in schism since 431 AD (Nestorian Schism), eventually separated into two distinct bodies: the Assyrian Church of the East (in schism) and the Chaldean Catholic Church (in full communion).

By my count, it’s five or possibly six (depending on how you count the Malankara Orthodox Syriacs; some are comfortable admitting that they were CoE until the Latins came, some do not believe that, and there appears to be evidence to support either position), not two: the Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East (schism from the CoE in the 1960s), the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (~7.5 million members, so much, much bigger than either of the two you mentioned above), the ‘original’ CoE, and the Chaldean Catholic Church. Interestingly, apparently in India the group known as the “Chaldean Syrian Church” is in communion with the Church of the East, not with Rome like you’d think they would be from that name.

Thanks for clarifying. I did not mean to imply schism by separation. I just read they had separated. Didn’t know any other details :slight_smile:

Yep, I came to notice that there were more than two. I don’t know why the source I quoted mentioned two. Perhaps it meant two main groups, or perhaps the initial separation was in two groups. Never totally trust an anonymous forum post :smiley: I try to quote verifiable sources, but all this stuff must be verified. For this page in particular I quoted the wiki page on Church of the East. I tend to trust the verifiability of wiki pages because I know how painful it is to add or change stuff especially on religious matters, and I know moderators or users keep a close eye on these pages.

Here are knowledgeable explanations:
Answer by Fr. Thomas Loya (EWTN) on 08-13-2008:
Prior to the Schism of 1054 the terms “Orthodox” and “Catholic” as we use them today did not exist. It was basically just the “Church” but the Church of the West and the Church in the East (the “two lungs” of the Church as John Paul II would say.) The term “Roman Catholic” developed well after the Schism. After the Schism the Eastern Churches referred to themselves as Eastern “Orthodox.”

Answer by Matthew Bunson (EWTN) on 10-20-2009:
The Eastern Catholic Churches are those Churches whose members follow the Eastern rite and are in communion with Rome. The Eastern Catholic Churches, like their Orthodox counterparts, trace their origins to the four great patriarchates in the East: Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. The fifth, and supreme, patriarchate was, of course, Rome, in the West. These so-called Mother Churches were the bases of the various rites to which the Eastern Christians belong: the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Byzantine, and Chaldean. They differ from each other through their liturgies, traditions, histories, theology, hierarchy, and language. Eastern Catholic Churches are distinguished from the Orthodox Churches by their acceptance of the supreme pontiff; most, at one time, were not in communion with Rome. The jurisdictions of these Churches are as follows: Antiochene – Syrian, Malankar, and Maronite; Armenian; Chaldean (or Chaldaean) – Chaldean and Malabar (or Syro-Malabar); and Byzantine – Albanian, Belorussian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Albanian, Melkite, Romanian, Russian, Carpatho-Russian (or Ruthenian), Slovak, and Ukrainian. Also called the Galician-Ruthenian, the Ukrainian Catholic Church has recently experienced an explosion in membership in Ukraine owing to recently established freedom of worship, the high degree of respect Ukrainian Catholic clergy earned during the long years of Soviet oppression, and the widespread disaffection with the Orthodox Church owing to its ties to the discredited Communist regime. As in other parts of Eastern Europe, the newfound freedoms enjoyed by the Catholic Church have created friction with the Orthodox communities over such matters as property, jurisdiction, and the right to proselytize. These are part of ongoing negotiations between the Holy See and the Orthodox hierarchy.

The Church has been the Catholic Church from the beginning.

Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,Judea and Galilee and Sama’ria…"

iow the Church ἐκκλησία , τῆς] throughout all καθ’kata ὅληςholos] is the Kataholos Church = Catholic ChurchThe English word catholic is a transliteration of the Greek katholikos which is a compound word from kata, which means according to, and holos, which means whole.
*]St IgnatiusBp of Antioch, ~69 a.d. - ~107 a.d., ordained by apostles, disciple of St John the apostle, called the Church the Catholic Church Epistle to the Smyrnæans of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians
*]St Polycarp, Bp Smyrna, disciple of St John called the Church the “Catholic Church” The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*]Muratorian canon
*]Irenaeus ~180 a.d. wrote “Against Heresies” called the Church the “Catholic Church” Adversus haereses [Bk 1 Ch 10 v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, Ch 3, v 2-3]Chapter 3
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
*]etc etc etc
[/LIST]The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 266th successor to St Peter.

Q: when is the first time we see “Orthodox Church” in writing, in history, references please.*

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