Orthodox Questions

If the Orthodox Church is recognized as a “Church” by the Catholic Church because of apostolic succession and the sacraments, does the Catholic Church believe that there is salvation in the Orthodox Church?

What was the name of Christianity before the Great Schism? Was it already called the Catholic Church? Where did the term “Orthodox” come from?

If the original Church split in half, how do you know which Church is the original one?

Also, are various sects with apostolic succession, such as SSPX or Sedevacantist groups considered churches or ecclesial communities? And is there salvation in them? Are such groups on par with the Orthodox in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

And out of curiosity, is the conversion from Catholicism to Orthodoxy as simple as the Catholic process in which one only has to recite the Creed to convert?

I’m just going to wait for others to reply, as I don’t think my answers would be very good for your questions. However, for your third question, I will give an answer. From the very back of my mind, I believe it was the Orthodox that broke away from the Church. Should I know this fact by heart? Probably yes, and I do apologize for being “unsure.” It’s been a very long week for me already. :o It would be like a tree during a storm. You have the tree, and you have this huge branch attached to the tree. The storm hits, and the branch breaks away from the tree. What happens? The branch has detached itself from the tree, and is now its own body, so to speak. To me, that seems to be what happened during the Schism. A huge “storm” hit, and the Orthodox broke away after seeing all that happened.

Of course.

Yes, in the first century.

I don’t know.

Since they both have apostolic succession they both have legitimate ties to the original Church. There was, officially, only one Church, called Catholic, until the 11th century.

The only thing I can reply to one of your questions is that so far as I understand it at least according to the Orthodox view from some of the forums I’ve been in concerning Orthoox and Catholic is that the Orthodox believe or at least consider it is the Catholic Church that broke away from the real Church. Catholic’s so far as I know do not believe that, and say it waas the Orthodox that broke away from Rome. In the Orthodox from the forums I’m is say that Catholic’s entering the Orthodox Church have to be baptised and confirmed while Orthodox do not when they enter the Catholic Church. This is my understanding that the posts I read have stated. Hope this helps some. I am sure that others will be able to explain it better and have more info than I have.

I wonder if the Oriental Orthodox (such as the Coptic Orthodox), the schism of which happened earlier than the Eastern Orthodox one, in the 5th century, are viewed as having valid sacraments and apostolic succession…?

I am not sure, but believe they do as they are apostolic so far as I understand it.

The “Orthodox Church” is not recongized as a Church. Rather their particular Churches (bishop and flock celebrating the Eucharist) are recoginzed as particular Churches. While there are many particular Churches (some separated), there is only one Church of Christ, which is permanently tand concretely the Catholic Church.

From what I understand, the Church teaches that with regards to members of the Orthodox Churches that may be saved due to being in good faith and not guilty of schism (provided of course they are not guilty of other mortal sins of course), they are indeed sanctified by those elements of sanctification in the Orthodox Church (such as valid sacraments). However, this is by virtue of the person’s connection to the Catholic Church created by baptism and that those elements of sanctification originate with the Catholic Church, properly belong to the Catholic Church, and draw their efficacy from the Catholic Church. Therefore, it isby their relationship to the Catholic Church that such individuals are saved, not directly be their membership in an Orthodox Church. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one.

What was the name of Christianity before the Great Schism? Was it already called the Catholic Church? Where did the term “Orthodox” come from?

The Church was called Catholic and the faith was called orthodox.

If the original Church split in half, how do you know which Church is the original one?

For this very reason, Our Lord established one See as an immoveable rock–that is, the See of Peter in Rome. Where that See is, there is the Church.

Also, are various sects with apostolic succession, such as SSPX or Sedevacantist groups considered churches or ecclesial communities? And is there salvation in them? Are such groups on par with the Orthodox in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

Most strains of sedevacantism are also a schism (since they reject communion with the whole Church) as well as submission to the Pope), but their members are less likely to be in good faith, since they have not been born generations later into the split, but usually made the decision themselves to split. Their bishops tend to be just “sacrament machines” rather than pastors, so they may not be considered particular Churches. The SSPX are members of the Catholic Church, but without legitimate ministry and under certain ecclesiastical penalties.

And out of curiosity, is the conversion from Catholicism to Orthodoxy as simple as the Catholic process in which one only has to recite the Creed to convert?

The Orthodox Churches are not united on this issue. They range from requiring rebaptism and abjuration of heresies to what you describe.

Yes.

This is a very common misconception. The Oriental Orthodox, which are true churches with valid sacraments, went into schism following the Council of Chalcedon, while the Assyrian Church of the East, which is also a true church with valid sacraments, went into schism around the time of the Council of Ephesus.

The short answer, or at least the polemical answer, is that the Orthodox broke away from Rome. (Of course, from the Orthodox side the polemical answer is that Rome broke away from the Orthodox.)

:popcorn:

Technically, that seemed to be what it was though the whole schism thing is more complicated than that. The Catholic Church excommunicated the Orthodox and the Orthodox returned the favor accordingly - both were mutually excommunicated. What a mess it was.

The Bishop of Rome was considered a senior Bishop though did not have universal jurisdiction (in the language of Orthodox here). Probably with nothing else, that would be the minimal reason that the Catholic Church predates the Orthodox and therefore the latter was the one that broke away. Admittedly the logic is not excellence and both sides do have much to say on the matter from each perspective.

They are schistic not separated. Both are originals and not formed as a result of the schism. They retained whatever they were and that they are now.

You should direct these questions in the apologetic section or Traditional Catholic. Since they are of the Catholic Church, they are ‘not on par’ with the Orthodox as the latter is a full body by itself.

The process seems to vary a bit but the principle is quite the same. A Catholic may need to be charismated to become Orthodox, but this is best answered by yhe Orthodox themselves.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.