Orthodox Catholic Church - Earliest Use of the Name

When did the term “Orthodox Catholic Church” first appear as the formal name for the church(es) not under the universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome?

Can you provide a link to an online reference?


The “formal name” is the “Catholic Church”, just like ours. “Orthodox” literally means “Right Belief”, and is really only used where there is overlap between Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Actually, in some Eastern European languages, even the term “Roman Catholic” refers to the Greek Orthodox Church, based in New Rome (AKA Constantinople/Istanbul).

Good question…hope this is helpful…best I could find.
Pax Christi

New Advent


The technical name for the body of Christians who use the Byzantine Rite in various languages and are in union with the Patriarch of Constantinople but in schism with the Pope of Rome. The epithet Orthodox (orthodoxos), meaning “right believer”, is, naturally, claimed by people of every religion. It is almost exactly a Greek form of the official title of the chief enemies of the Greeks, i.e. the Moslems (mu’min, fidelis). The Monophysite Armenians called themselves ughapar, meaning exactly the same thing.

How “Orthodox” became the proper name of the Eastern Church it is difficult to say.** It was used at first, long before the schism of Photius, especially in the East, not with any idea of opposition against the West, but rather as the antithesis to the Eastern heretics — Nestorians and Monophysites.** Gradually, although of course, both East and West always claimed both names, “Catholic” became the most common name for the original Church in the West, “Orthodox” in the East.

It would be very difficult to find the right name for this Church. “Eastern” is too vague, the Nestorians and Monophysites are Eastern Churches; “Schismatic” has the same disadvantage. “Greek” is really the least expressive of all. The Greek Church is only one, and a very small one, of the sixteen Churches that make up this vast communion. The millions of Russians, Bulgars, Rumanians, Arabs, and so on who belong to it are Greek in no sense at all. According to their common custom one may add the word “Eastern” to the title and speak of the Orthodox Eastern Church (he orthodoxos anatolike ekklesia).

The Orthodox, then, are the Christians in the East of Europe, in Egypt and Asia, who accept the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon (are therefore neither Nestorians nor Monophysites), but who, as the result of the schisms of Photius (ninth cent.) and Cerularius (eleventh cent.), are not in communion with the Catholic Church. There is no common authority obeyed by all, or rather it is only the authority of “Christ and the seven Ecumenical Synods” (from Nicæa I in 325, to Nicæa II in 787).

These sixteen Churches are: (1) The four Eastern patriarchates — Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem — and the Church of Cyprus, independent since the Council of Ephesus. (2) Since the great schism eleven new Churches have been added, all but one formed at the expense of the one vast Patriarchate of Constantinople. They are the six national churches of Russia, Greece, Servia, Montenegro, Rumania, and Bulgaria, four independent Churches in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, namely Carlovitz, Hermannstadt, Czernovitz, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lastly the Church of Mount Sinai, consisting of one monastery separated from Jerusalem. One of these Churches, that of Bulgaria, is in schism with Constantinople since 1872. The total number of Orthodox Christians in the world is estimated variously as 95 to 100 millions. (See EASTERN CHURCHES; GREEK CHURCH; CONSTANTINOPLE, Heresy and Schism; RUSSIA.)

The cool thing is even when Bulgaria or some other Orthodox church has a disagreement with the Ecumenical Patriarch and doesn’t commune with his jurisdiction, they still hold to the same faith. The faith taught by the first 7 Councils and ratified by the local Orthodox councils up to today.

Not one Orthodox Catholic has an answer to this question?

Your question has already been adequately answered by your own coreligionists. Why do you need for us to answer, when they have already given adequate answers? Are you itching to start a fight or something?

Yes, Catholics have responded, but how can I know with certainty that the information provided is agreed upon by Orthodox Christians?

You have been known to disagree with us on occasion…even when the facts seem straightforward. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe you could go by the fact that you’re told in the post that you’re replying to that your coreligionists’ answers are adequate?

Since my question: “Not one Orthodox Catholic has an answer to this question?” was asked prior to Cavaradossi’s charitable and helpful input, how could I have known that my “co-religionists” answers were acceptable to my Orthodox brothers and sisters in the Lord?

So, who’s really itching for a fight? :shrug:


The question feels rather loaded, which is probably why you’re getting the response you are, whatever your intentions.

Yeah, nevermind. I think it was a mistake to post in this thread. It doesn’t matter, anyway. A rose by any other name and all that. There are lots of adjectives that apply to the Church.

Ten]ho ouoh tentwbh ntekmetaga;oc piMairwmi. ArivmeuiP=o=c n]hirynynte tekouimmauatc =e=;=u nka;olikynapoctolikynEkklycia. :slight_smile:

This. Not only that, the belligerent posts you’ve made in other threads (not to mention your signature) leads one to the conclusion that it is a baiting question rather than a serious question (even if that is not the case).

You know, Randy, IMO your hornet/stinging bee avatar contributes to working against what made be a sincere desire for information on your part.

I am a Graduate of Georgia Tech…a small trade school located on North Avenue in Atlanta.

Our sports teams are known as the “Yellow Jackets” or collectively as the “Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech”. We have won four national championships in football.


Here’s a photo of the Ramblin’ Wreck taking the field loaded down with cheerleaders…our mascot and my avatar, Buzz, is in the center:


Four national championships and a lousy record against Notre Dame (13 national championships). :smiley:

Thought I’d lighten up this thread…going to Oklahoma game this weekend. :thumbsup:

I recognized it as the Georgia Tech mascot…still don’t like stinging flying things, though. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Buzz costume is a little bit cute, though, much better than the drawing.:thumbsup:

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy…

Here’s his play:


Wonderful story. I saw Rudy in campus last year. He’s a walking “I’m Rudy” billboard…


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