Orthodox first?


I know some Orthodox Catholics that say the Roman Catholic Church split from the Eastern Orthodox Chutch.That they were in schisim. However, I don’t believe that is true. They also claimed that the Roman Rite changed the creed and they didn’t have the right to. Could you please settle this matter and bring more light to the subject.


The Churches now called Orthodox accepted the primacy of the Bishop of Rome for a thousand years or so before the Great Schism. Therefore it is accurate to say the Orthodox split away from the universal, or Catholic Church.

One of the points of debate between the Eastern and Western Churches was the “Fiolque” – the Western Church holding that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, which the Eastern Church rejected.

The Catholic Church does not consider this a stumbling block and does not require Orthodox Churches to accept the “Fiolque” in order to be welcomed back into full and perfect communion.


Welcome to the forum, Chad. :slight_smile:

This article is a good introduction to the Filioque controversy:



Thanks Vern, glad to be here. :0)

Yeah, I thought for sure that the Orthodox split from Rome. I don’t understand how some Othordox Catholics believe that Rome was the one who split off when historically it seems to be the opposite. How did the Orthodox faith come to be and when was it recogonized as being Orthodox?

How do the Orthodox view Peter, do they believe in Peters Primacy? I would think they would not, since that would point to Rome. I don’t know if any of you have listened to the segmant “The Primacy of Peter” by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. In that segmant he talks about Peter and how Jesus exualted him as the leader of the his Church. It makes perfect sense that Jesus choose him to be the leader.


The Orthodox split from the Catholic Church in the Great (Eastern) Schism.

The quarrel between East and West was complex, although we tend to cite the Filioque Controversy as the basis. The cite I posted above will show how complex it was.

The various theological issues were in fact, political. Bishop Photius – who had been appointed by the Emperor when he deposed Bishop Ignatius – was probably the originator. The Pope had ruled against Photius and in favor of Ignatius (the government cannot depose and create bishops.)

The arguments Photius made outlived him – to be used by Michael Caerularius.

The Orthodox accept the primacy of Peter, but not of his successor.


newadvent.org/cathen/13535a.htm -

There is not really any question of doctrine involved. It is not a heresy, but a schism. The Decree of Florence made every possible concession to their feelings. There is no real reason why they should not sign that Decree now. They deny papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception, they quarrel over purgatory, consecration by the words of institution, the procession of the Holy Ghost, in each case misrepresenting the dogma to which they object. It is not difficult to show that on all these points their own Fathers are with those of the Latin Church, which asks them only to return to the old teaching of their own Church.

I will be eternally grateful if anyone would find these quotes from their own Fathers


I don’t think it’s helpful to make this into an “us versus them” thread. The Orthodox are our brother Christians, and have the Apostolic Succession, just as we do. Let us respect them, and hope someday the two main branches of the Faith can be reunited.


This topic would get a different response in the Eastern Christianity section.

I just looked at a thread that referred to the papacy as a “work of fiction,” an “anomaly,” and a “Catholic Tsar.”


Thanks Vern for you help, I will definitely look into it. I just want to make it clear that I view my brothers and sisters of the Orthodox faith with the up most respect. I have no intent of debating the Orthodox faith, but rather to understand it. I accept the call of the Pope for the Roman Rite to be united with the Eastern Rite. I realize that we will never be totally united, but even an inch towards union is worth all the effort. I am Ignorant of the Orthodox faith and I would be the first one to admit that. That’s why I ask these questions in order to understand the debate between the Eastern and Western Rites. I hope and pray that all Catholics regardless of what rite they are affiliated with will strive for unity and acceptance of each other.

I still hold to the belief that both the East and West could benefit each other by the continue struggle towards unity.


I agree – but be careful. You will find people of all persuasions who want to denegrate anyone who disagrees with them. It’s as easy to get into an argument with an Orthodox Christian as it is with a Protestant.:frowning:


I understand and I heed your concern. My faith is in the Roman Catholic Church, and not even the promise of death would separate me from the Church. That may come across as a strong statement to some but that’s how I feel about the Church. Without it I would have no life in me. However I still think that both rites can come to mutual understanding and benefit greatly from each other. That involves breaking down barriers of ignorance between both rites. I am not expecting by any means for the eastern rite Catholics to convert to the western rite or vice verse. The seed of unity has been planted and the Holy Spirit is at work. We should trust in the Divine Providence of God. If we truly trust in God, then we should participate fully with his divine will. If we want unity then we have to be on the front lines so God can use us as an instrument. If a mechanic needed a wrench to fix a part and the wrench was in his toolbox at home what good would it do him? He can have the will and the strongest intent to fix that part, but how can he when he doesn’t have the wrench to accomplish it. Basically, we need to be available and ready to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes that calls us to be outside our comfort zone.

I have much hope in my generation despite our wickedness. There are holy people in this generation who are responding to the Holy Spirit and doing things that were never expected of us. I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the youth of today. One must know that just because it’s not on mass scale or shown on the local news doesn’t mean it’s not taking place. I can tell you that there are strong Catholic youth who want unity between the east and the west. Only in time and in our willing participation will we ever achieve any form of unity.


1 see of the ancient Church, Rome, left the other 4 so that the Bishop of Rome could follow his developing claim to universal jurisdiction which 4/5 of the Church did not recongize. The Filioque was added in Spain without approval of any council, and again was rejected by 4/5 of the anicent Church.


An Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory II, of Cyprus (1241–1290), proposed a different formula which has also been considered as an Orthodox “answer” to the filioque, though it does not have the status of official Orthodox doctrine. Gregory spoke of an eternal manifestation of the Spirit by the Son. In other words, he held that the Son eternally manifests (shows forth) the Holy Spirit.

In general, even up to the time of the Council of Florence, the writings of Latin fathers were not widely read in the East; the language was not understood. Hence, the formulation of the filioque, let alone its meaning, was not readily understood in the East. Up to the present, some Western practices are still condemned as heresy by some in the East, disciplinary customs such as mandatory celibacy for priests or the use of pouring water for baptism, rather than triple immersion. When the Pope of Rome visited Greece, some clergy refused to pray with him; others protested publicly against his visit. In Ukraine, when he visited, one Orthodox community held a ceremony of “cursing” for a bishop they considered a heretic. Some Orthodox, too, speak of what they call the “heresy of ecumenism.” The Patriarch of Constantinople has accused some monks of Mount Athos, Greece, as being schismatic in spirit, because they consider the entire West to be mired in heresy. Again and again, the filioque is brought up as the first example of heresy.

I found this at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque_clause

So, now I understand more about the creed when the filoque ‘from the son’ was added in the Latin West. However, I don’t understand the continued division. Why this would breed hate. The fact that there was cursing towards the bishop is totally uncalled for, even if you are in disagreement. I would never curse anyone in the Orthodox Church. The fact is that the Holy Trinity is a mystery, something that hasn’t been fully revealed to us. We always tend to put God in a box and say that we fully understand the mysteries of God. As if the human mind can grasp the infinite.

So, reading mote about this I have come to the conclusion that this is more political then theological. This comes down to authority, everything else tends to fall second.

For the Latin Rite to be in schism, God sure has blessed the church tremendously. For the Latin Rite to claim to be the head of the universal church, you would think God would strike it down if it was not true. The opposite has happened and God has used the church to reach millions of people around the world. The fruits of the Latin Church as numerous and totally unique to it. I can’t help but think about Jesus and the vine branch. If we are in schism and apart from Christ, why do we bear so much fruit? No other church has been as successful in envangelizing the world as the Roman Catholic Church. Cleary the Holy Spirit is at work in the Latin Rite.


The fruits of the Latin Church as numerous and totally unique to it. I can’t help but think about Jesus and the vine branch. If we are in schism and apart from Christ, why do we bear so much fruit?

i agree with you, but they could say the same could be said for islam which has continually grown since its inception.

i do not necessarily see the size of a church as evidence of its legitimacy. isalm is one case in point and mormonism is as well of heretical churches that are growing enourmously. today the catholic church is going through a crisis and its numbers are stagnent to shrinking in relation to population growth, especially in south america and europe. a new spring time though seems near.

i think our saints testify best to the authenticity of the catholic church. mother theresa, jpii, maximilian kolbe… etc. are all amazing saints of the 20th century. st. francis is even honored by non christians. these people do not have counterparts in the orthodox churches.


Well, they do really. Quite a few. The Orthodox Church produces some remarkable Saints even today.

Mother Theresa could be paralled by the recently canonised Saint Maria of Paris - a remarkable Russian refugee and nun. If you have time read her biography “Pearl of Great Price.” She, her community’s priest and her son were killed in Paris by the Nazis under circumstances similar to St Maximilian Kolbe.

A short life on the Web:
Maria Skobtsova: Woman of Many Faces, Mother in Many Ways

And here is a Catholic report on Saint Maria

Has anybody heard of Saint John the Archbishop of San Francisco? His life is amazing. A great miracle worker during his life and now, after his death.

Mother Maria of Paris, Saint and Martyr


Saint Francis is often compared with Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Saint Seraphim is even included in the Catholic Calendar though he was Russian Orthodox.



I would agree with you Fr. Ambrose, the Orthodox Church has great saints, and more saints to come. Since you are a religous of the Orthodox faith, tell me then what hope do we have for unity? I see the Orthodox Church as brothers and I have much love for them, but when will this political battle end?

Obviously as a lay person I have no power to pull the East and West together, but I know that in order for unity to be achieved it must start with each lay person. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Peace starts in the home.”

From your perspective, what should the East and West do in order settle disputes and achieve unity? What should the lay person do in order to promote unity? How can we show solidarity?

I still have hope that unity will happen. I feel as though the Holy Spirit is working towards achieving this unity, however sometimes we choose not to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


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