Orthodox Christians are -Catholic- . . ?

Are Orthodox Christians -Catholic- . . ?

I need some input from others and some terminology language to help clarify what we mean.

Hi Wesley,

what do you mean by “Jewish Christian”, do you mean that you keep all the OT law?

While the Orthodox groups do not recognize the Pope as head of the Church, two things keep them very close to us: 1) They recognize other apostles as founders of their church and as first patriarchs, just as we recognize the Pope, making them true Apostolic Churches and 2) Their beliefs are still very close to ours in matters of faith.

Yes, they are Catholic, but under a different Rite. I am a Roman Catholic, and they are Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, but still under the larger heading of Catholic.

Pope John Paul II refered to the “Catholic” ( those in communion with Rome) and the EO as the right and left lungs of The Church. So in a very real sense they are part of the Church Catholic, at least from the perspective of the Vatican (Some EO’s might have a different slant).

The term Catholic is generally used to denote those in communion with Rome, while Eastern Orthodox to denote those under the jurisdiction of one of the Patriarchs who are not in communion with Rome.

The original split between East and West, though somewhat complicated and confused, probably had more to do with pride (on both sides) and different views on church government than it had to do with theology.

Bottom line though is that, for Catholics under the jurisdiction of the Pope in Rome, the EO’s are to be viewed as our nearest brothers containing a valid apostolic succession and valid priesthood able to confect the Eucharist for the benefit of the faithful.

Hope some of this helps.


The unfortunate division that still exists has more to do with pride and unforgiveness than with doctrine. The doctrinal issues that exist between Rome and the East are mostly over semantics and authority. It is sad that this rift is nearly 1000 years old now. As far as the filioque argument which seems to have started the whole mess nobody on either side has ever argued to me anything where I can see it actually makes any difference or actually makes sense to me.
The term catholic traces it’s origin to an early church bishop, Irenaeus. It means universal. Fr Bendict Groeschel once talked about a trip to Greece where he tried practicing his Biblical greek at a gas station while waiting for his car to be fixed and read on the sign the interesting message that they fixed catholikos (catholics) meaning universal joints.The term Roman Catholic was coined by certain Anglicans so-they could distinguish themselves from the folks in communion with Rome.

In actual fact, the Roman Catholic Church has never considered the Orthodox Churches as anything but part of the “One True Church” albeit in formal separation or so I’ve read and have been told by Catholic theology professors.

The Orthodox use the term “Catholic” in their own self-description where this term means the “whole in the part.” That is, the Church of Christ is present in any location where there is a Bishop, the Eucharist and sacrament, and where the faith is taught and practiced - although what constitutes the fullness of the true faith would be disputed by the Churches.

The term “Orthodox” was originally used to denote the “Orthodox faith” while “Catholic” was an ecclesiological term applied to the Church. As an Eastern Catholic, I prefer the designation “Orthodox Catholic” for this reason.


The OT Law is useful for reading and study, there is the [New Covenant] . . .

That’s because we Orthodox (Catholic?) believe Jesus Christ is the Divine Head of the Holy Orthodox Church.

Are you looking for confirmation on how to describe yourself from other people outside your church? :confused:

One of the full titles of the Orthodox Church is “The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church of the East.” I have heard many Orthodox term themselves as Orthodox Catholic and those in communion with Rome and the Vatican as Papal Catholics. They might regard us as Orthodox, but we don’t return the favor.

In Christ,

This is no different than the Catholic Church in communion with the Pope. Christ is the head of the Church.

Did you think or have you been taught otherwise?


All Christians are partially Catholic. The degree varies, but Orthodox are particularly close.

YET, they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church and to say they are Catholic - at least without some very clear qualification - would be misleading. To most Catholics, other Christians and non-Christians, “Catholic” implies those who are in full communion with the Church of Rome (even if they wouldn’t know to say it that way).

I have no problem in using the term Orthodox Catholic Church (insert various nationalities etc. as required) and never have had.

And the RCC teaches the samething and to believe otherwise is a false misinterpretation of Roman Catholics and those in communion with Rome

Indeed the Pope is but a mortal man and only the vicar of Christ who is the head of the Church.

Amen brother…amen…:thumbsup:

No you know Heyschios I think meant he meant to say that Orthodox Christians are ‘Catholic’ ? ?

Are Orthodox Christians ‘Catholic’ . . ?

Gotcha. :wink:

You’re the biggest Church. So naturally your “branding” is most likely to be accepted. And, of course, we Protestants split from you. Though we didn’t use to call you Catholic. It’s a modern custom arising from greater ecumenical courtesy and a sadly atrophied ecclesiology among Protestants.


We would say yes. We believe that the fullness of the Church is with us and the fullness of the Church exists in the presbyters centered around the bishop professing the Orthodox Faith. :thumbsup:

In Christ,

Have you heard of the word Sobornorst?

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