List of Easten Rite curches

May I have a list of those rites that are considered Eastern Rites?

This is a repost of an explanation that I put up here before:

Most people are not aware that the “Catholic Church” is actually comprised of twenty-three self-governing Catholic Churches, all in union with the pope. The Western, or Latin Catholic Church, is so large, however, that many people, even Catholics, are completely unaware of the other twenty-two churches, which make up the Eastern Branch. (Some have from only a few thousand members to a few million.)

Originally, there was only one denomination… the Catholic Church (the word Catholic meaning “universal”). However, there were five cities that early on were singled out as being important centers of Christianity. They were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and of course, Rome. Each developed its own unique traditions and liturgy, but ALL shared a common theology and were in communion with each other and the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. However, about 1000 years ago, due to a variety of unfortunate problems, the other four cities, allied with the Byzantine Empire, mutually broke off from Rome, forming the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. Although doctrinally, they are virtually identical to Catholics, they refuse to acknowledge that the pope is more than a “first among equals”. (A couple groups broke of much earlier in the 400s AD also, to form what are known as the Oriental Orthodox Churches).

What has happened is that over time, some portions of each of the various Orthodox groups have decided to reconcile with the Catholic Church and come back into communion with Rome. When they do, they are allowed to keep all of their traditions and much of their independence, although they acknowledge the authority of the Pope. They become truly Catholic, in that anyone from ANY branch of the Catholic Church can participate in the liturgy and ceremonies of any OTHER branch of the Catholic Church. The only two Eastern groups that never fell out of communion with the Catholic Church were the Maronite Catholic Church, and the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church. So… for every branch of the Orthodox Churches that are NOT in communion with Rome, there is a corresponding and virtually identical branch of the Eastern Catholic Church that IS in communion with Rome. Since their customs and liturgies date from before the Council of Trent, they are allowed to remain.

The following liturgies are used by the Eastern Catholic Churches:

  • The Liturgy of St. Basil
  • The Chaldean Mass
  • The Order of the Divine and Holy Liturgy of Our Father Among the Saints Gregory the Theologian (or Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts)
  • The Liturgy of St. James
  • The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
  • The Liturgy of St. Mark
  • The Holy Qorbono

Here is a listing that includes EACH of the twenty-three Catholic Churches in union with the Pope. Do not confuse “churches” with “rites”. A rite is a series of traditions, that includes different customs and liturgies. Several different churches may use the exact same rite. A Church has its own rules and separate line of authority to the Pope. It may also have a figure in charge, like a Metropolitan or a Patriarch (like an Archbishop), since these churches are generally very small and work very hard to preserve their unique traditions. The major rites are the Latin, Alexandrian, Antiochian, Armenian, Chaldean, and Byzantine.


The Western (Latin) Catholic Church

Latin liturgical tradition

  1. Ordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that you will find in virtually every Latin Catholic Church almost every day of the week. This Mass has existed since the mid-1960s, ever since reforms were made following the Second Vatican Council.)
  2. Extraordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that was used in virtually every Latin Catholic Church from the Middle Ages until the mid-1960s. It may still be said in Catholic Churches should a priest choose to use it. Some of the differences from the Ordinary Form include the exclusive use of the Latin language (except for the homily), the receipt of Communion exclusively on the tongue and kneeling, the priest facing the same direction as the people (toward the altar and God) so he can lead the people in prayer, no lay participation on the altar, and usually, no responses by lay people.)
  3. Ambrosian Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Milan)
  4. Mozarabic Rite (Only permitted in the Cathedral of Toledo, Spain and a few surrounding churches of the diocese)
  5. Bragan Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Braga, Portugal)
  6. Anglican-Use Mass (This form was once only permitted in the extremely rare circumstance in which an Anglican priest converted to Catholicism and brings his entire parish with him. In that event, a parish could continue to use the Anglican liturgy, with corrections to make it conform with Catholic teachings. It was originally meant as a transitional liturgy, and upon the death of the pastor, the church would revert to the Ordinary Form. With the recent provisions announced by the Vatican to allow Anglicans into the Catholic Church and keep their traditions, it seems that the Anglican-Use will now become both far more widespread AND permanent.)

**Rites of Religious Orders **

  1. Dominican Rite
  2. Carthusian Rite
  3. Carmelite Rite
  4. Cisternian Rite

Note: Technically, the forms of the Latin liturgy listed above are NOT different rites, but variations of the SAME rite, although people do tend to commonly use the term somewhat erroneously in this context. The differences between the Latin “rites” are FAR less than those between the Latin liturgy and any of the Eastern Rites.)

The Eastern Catholic Churches

1. Alexandrian liturgical tradition

  1. Coptic Catholic Church (patriarchate): Egypt (1741)
  2. Ethiopian Catholic Church (metropolia): Ethiopia, Eritrea (1846)
    2. Antiochian (Antiochene or West-Syrian) liturgical tradition
  3. Maronite Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico (union re-affirmed 1182)
  4. Syriac Catholic Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United States and Canada, Venezuela (1781)
  5. Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (major archiepiscopate): India, United States (1930)
    3. Armenian liturgical tradition:
  6. Armenian Catholic Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Ukraine, France, Greece, Latin America, Argentina, Romania, United States, Canada, Eastern Europe (1742)
    4. Chaldean or East Syrian liturgical tradition:
  7. Chaldean Catholic Church (patriarchate): Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, United States (1692)
  8. Syro-Malabar Church (major archiepiscopate): India, Middle East, Europe and America.
    5. Byzantine (Constantinopolitan) liturgical tradition:
  9. Albanian Greek Catholic Church (apostolic administration): Albania (1628)
  10. Belarusian Greek Catholic Church (no established hierarchy at present): Belarus (1596)
  11. Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church (apostolic exarchate): Bulgaria (1861)
  12. Byzantine Church of the Eparchy of Križevci (an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate): Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (1611)
  13. Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (two apostolic exarchates): Greece, Turkey (1829)
  14. Hungarian Greek Catholic Church (an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate): Hungary (1646)
  15. Italo-Albanian Catholic Church (two eparchies and a territorial abbacy): Italy (Never separated)
  16. Macedonian Greek Catholic Church (an apostolic exarchate): Republic of Macedonia (1918)
  17. Melkite Greek Catholic Church (patriarchate): Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Jerusalem, Brazil, United States, Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Egypt and Sudan, Kuwait, Australia, Venezuela, Argentina (1726)
  18. Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (major archiepiscopate): Romania, United States (1697)
  19. Russian Catholic Church: (two apostolic exarchates, at present with no published hierarchs): Russia, China (1905); currently about 20 parishes and communities scattered around the world, including five in Russia itself, answering to bishops of other jurisdictions
  20. Ruthenian Catholic Church (a sui juris metropolia, an eparchy, and an apostolic exarchate): United States, Ukraine, Czech Republic (1646)
  21. Slovak Greek Catholic Church (metropolia): Slovak Republic, Canada (1646)
  22. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (major archiepiscopate): Ukraine, Poland, United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia, France, Brazil, Argentina (1595)

Read about them here, including statistics from the Vatican Annuario Pontifico:

Has there been any renewed interest by Orthodox in the Middle East in reuniting with Rome? The plight of Christians in the Middle East is so dire, and looking to becoming even worse that I wondered if the stress of possible regional extinction might cause some thought of reuniting with Rome.

Indeed all native Christians in the Middle East face the same threats, and indeed it’s more than stressful, but why would that cause any Orthodox, whether EO or OO, to go knocking on Rome’s door? :confused:

Rolltide has already answered both questions very nicely, so I won’t re-answer them. But I would just like to stress that they are 2 entirely different questions – Churches and Rites are not the same thing. (As it happens, there aren’t even the same number of them. There are 5 EC Rites, 22 EC Churches.)

Not in many centuries.

The plight of Christians in the Middle East is so dire, and looking to becoming even worse that I wondered if the stress of possible regional extinction might cause some thought of reuniting with Rome.

This is a rather low view of the faith of those Christians, isn’t it? I am not from there, but I do belong to a native Middle Eastern church, and I have not found a stronger faith in God than among Christians of the Middle East. To look at these people and their circumstances as opportunities for your Pope to expand his flock is quite frankly incredibly insulting. The Orthodox Christians of the Middle East have their own popes and patriarchs, and have no need for Rome. What could Rome even do from hundreds of miles away, isolated from the lives of the Christians of the Middle East, not sharing their cultures, etc.? And most importantly, not sharing their faith? Uniting with Rome would be a disaster.

I was reluctant to post on this other question (as it’s pretty far off topic – but I guess the mods could always split the thread if they deem it necessary):

I can think of one example that’s … well, not what you’re asking, but I’ll say it anyhow:

[quote=Wikipedia]In 2008, Mar Bawai Soro of the Assyrian Church of the East and 1,000 families were received into full communion with the Chaldean Catholic Church from the Assyrian Church of the East.[17]


Perhaps (I can’t say anything for sure) Yeoman means somethings like: Some of them may have been intending (deep down inside) on knocking on Rome’s door, and dire circumstances might them say “Hey we’d best do it now.”

But having said that, as a Catholic I’d like to point out the Balamand Statement (see my new signature).

I suppose that’s possible, but why do I doubt it? :hmmm: Now let me see … Could it perhaps be, as dzheremi said, that they have no need of Rome? Looking at the Maronites or the SCC or the CCC, as examples, why would the Orthodox (especially the OO) want to throw their patrimony away? In favor of what? Novus Ordo-inspired latinizations? :confused: I doubt it. Believe it or not, there are some of us who actually want our patrimony back. :eek: Not that Rome itself took it away, but it’s all due to the “trickle-down” or “monkey-see, monkey-do” effect. :mad:

And let’s face it, irrespective of the Balamand Statement, history doesn’t give high marks to Western meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. And that in the secular political as well as the ecclesiastical arena. :frowning:

Is that supposed to be a more reasonable interpretation? Something tells me that when your neighbor is kidnapped by Islamic extremists and held for the equivalent of $15,000 ransom (in a country where the average yearly income is less than half that), or your cousin goes missing, or any of the other many terrible things that I have happened to people in my church, your first thought is not “Well that tears it…I’m leaving my church and going to Rome!” That’s insane. And the bombing of Siadat an-Najat Catholic Church in Baghdad shows that there is absolutely no difference in how Catholics in the Middle East are treated. Everybody is a target, and Rome can’t change that.

And the Balamand Statement can say whatever it wants. The history of Orthodox-RC relations in the Middle East did not begin in 1993. It means very little to say “we don’t want to convert you” after having created Eastern Catholic churches out of sections of pre-existing EO and OO churches entirely for the purpose of doing that.

Renewed? We’ve always been interested in union, and the terms hasn’t changed. I think relations today have become better that dialogue can finally take place without ending in anathemas.

Perhaps “heightened” would have been a better choice of words as opposed to renewed.

Well, not having checked in for awhile, I see that this has sort of become a type of argument.

My original thought would frankly have been that Christ formed his Church, and we all know that it would be better if there was one Church. My simple thought was, I suppose, the old “if we don’t hang together, we’ll surely all hang separately” Of course, that grossly simplifies the divides that still remain.

Still, it’d be best for all, and for Christians in the Middle East as part of that, if we all closed as much ground as we could. Perhaps it won’t save Christianity in the Middle East, but perhaps it’d help a bit. Right now, outside of Egypt, Lebanon and Israel, I can’t be too optimistic about there being a Church of any type in the Middle East by the end of the decade. It’s gone from a crisis, I fear, to being a terminal crisis. And things are looking increasingly bad in Egypt as well.

To add just a bit, I wouldn’t have conceived it as knocking on Rome’s door. Perhaps that’s part of the problem when this topic is discussed, as it tends to be viewed, I think, by some that way.

Rather, what I would have conceived of it as is that we’re both living in a Duplex. The Latins have a larger part of it, as there’s considerably more of us. There’s a dangerous gang outside one of the doors of the duplex, and you use it more than we do. Maybe it’s time to see about putting in a door between your part of the duplex and ours, where it’d be easier for you to use our door. And we’d just like to see you folks.

On one final thought on reunification, something that we should all consider is that globalization and secularization work hand in glove with our disunity towards decreasing the Faith everywhere.

In earlier eras it could be argued that, in spite of the tragedy of disunion, followed by the tragedy of the Protestant Reformation, the strong cultural identification of certain peoples with their regional Church kept the Faith strong in those regions. That era, however, is rapidly passing away.

It’s already almost dead in Europe, concerning certain Protestant churches that sprang up during the Reformation. The Church of England, the closest to us in its practices, is a mere shadow of its former self. All kinds of Protestant faiths that had strong adherence in the United States are yielding to “non denominational” Protestant faiths or none at all. Protestantism of all types is dieing before our eyes. And our various Faiths, whether Catholic or Orthodox, haven’t been immune either. Yes, there’s strong members of our Faiths everywhere, but we’d be fooling ourselves hugely if we pretended that there hasn’t been a serious decline. Do most Catholics in Southern Germany attend Mass every Sunday? Do most Greeks attend Divine Liturgy in Greece? A person can point to exceptions to be sure, but the overall trend is not a happy one.

Given that, we should very serious consider the fact that it’s going to take a strong concerted effort to regain lost ground, and keeping our separation to its present degree doesn’t help us in any fashion whatsoever.

Moreover, to the extent there are strong differences, as opposed to merely strong feelings, its incumbent upon us to work to resolve them. We can all be aware that one Faith may not have accepted a certain council, for example, but that might not excuse us from picking that work back up and trying to get it done.

Hi Yeoman. The thing is, words can be used in ways that make it sound like we all agree on things that we don’t. Rather than responding point-by-point to your posts, I just want to speak to a couple of recurring themes …

One is the “tragedy of disunity”. Christians of all stripes complain about that, but the underlying thought vary quite a lot. Catholics (like you, me, and Malphono) tend to see it in terms of “All Christians should be in full communion with the Pope.” but hardly any other Christians see it that way.

I’m sure you can imagine how similar difficulties exist with phrases like “the tragedy of the Protestant Reformation” and “Christ formed his Church, and we all know that it would be better if there was one Church”: they don’t mean the same to all Christians*.

I don’t want to go on and on (I already have a bad feeling that this thread will go on for pages and pages) but the point is that statements like you’ve made actually make Christian unity harder, not easier.

*It’s particularly interesting to imagine what a non-denomination Christian would think your statements. :hmmm:

Yeah, but that’s you and your fears on behalf of people who aren’t you, and who are you anyway? I don’t mean that in a rude way, I mean…if you’re not from the Middle East, or at least in a Middle Eastern church (so that you have constant exposure to the news from people who still go back there regularly, still have family there, etc.), you really have no basis for forming any kind of conclusion like that. This kind of ties in nicely with my other post about how joining Rome would be a disaster, since no Roman or other Westerner actually knows what the hell is going on in the Middle East. Heck, it is even a nice illustration of why your subsequent post (about the duplex) even shows that union with Rome is a stupid idea, at least if the reason behind it is supposed to be to “save” Middle Eastern Christianity, or slow its decline or whatever. In the Middle East proper, the Middle Eastern Christians (the ones you’re convinced will be completely gone in 7 years, despite the fact that basically all of them were Christian long before most Westerners were) are the ones who share most of the duplex, and the Latins are the tiny minority within the minority (and in many places, even their Eastern compatriots are also a tiny minority, e.g., Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iran where most of the Christians are Orthodox or otherwise not in union with Rome). So how exactly is it that uniting with Rome would offer any protection from anything, even if that were a worthwhile reason for joining with heretics in the first place (which it isn’t)? There are almost no Romans or Coptic Catholics in Egypt, for instance (over 90% of Egyptian Christians are Coptic Orthodox, and there are still at least about four times as many Copts in Egypt proper as there are in the diaspora today, even after the “revolution” – 8 to 12 million in Egypt vs. ~2 million in the worldwide diaspora).

There is no possible way that you can frame your original idea so that it makes sense or is acceptable. You already have the majority of Lebanese Christians in union with you, and – since the start of the newest war there – also Iraq (the Chaldeans and Syriac Catholics). Why not focus on those, and leave the rest of the Middle Eastern Christians alone except to pray for them (as Orthodox people often pray for them, too, I should say; an injury to one is indeed an injury to all, but the point is that this doesn’t mean we’re moving even one millimeter in the direction of Rome), because we’re separated in the first place for doctrinal reasons, not security reasons).

Not to burst any bubbles here, but let me make a comment. Frankly, I subscribe to that theory only insofar as the 1st Millennium reality is concerned. IOW, if “communion” meant the same as it did in those days, then yes. But of course the problem is that the term no longer means that at all. In particular, until such time as the unilateral actions of Rome including, and perhaps especially (as I’ve argued with our now-vanished brother mardukm so many times, Vatican I’s Pastor Aeternus, etc, are formally repudiated (I’ll settle for the Roman legal dance-around equivalent of “clarified”) there’s no chance of restoring that reality. IOW, without that action on Rome’s part, chickens will grow lips before any unity occurs. And, absent the restoration of the 1st Millennium reality, I, personally, am very happy to have the Orthodox, especially the OO & ACoE.

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