Orthodoxy

What are the main differences and traditions between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church?

The Orthodox is not a Church. It is a schismatic part of the Catholic Church because they refuse to accept the supremacy of the Pope.

Hi thisle,

You’re right in saying that orthodoxy is not a church. It is the term used to qualify the Eastern churches that separated from the Catholic Church. However, it is correct to use the term Church to qualify individual entities. Even Apocalypse speaks of the seven churches.

Verbum

He is correct to say they are not a church. There is one Church made up of particular churches but they are all Catholic. Just like the protestant ecclesial communities ate not churches, neither the eastern orthodox.

There is the Eastern Orthodox church and the Oriental Orthodox church, the Oriental went schism during the 4th ecumenical council and the Eastern on 1045AD. The Eastern Orthodox is an ancient church, as old as the Roman church, they are once part of the Catholic church, they are much tied to the ancient liturgy and customs and would not dare to change them, although the church fathers has altered the customs received during the first century, but this century the Eastern Orthodox has preserved it. Read the Nikonian reformation in the Orthodox church in russia and see how violent the reaction was. The Eastern Orthodox are also not familiar with the western fathers and its documents, they tend to read and trust only their church fathers, that is, the Greek Fathers, they are virtually zero on the western fathers and would not accept their writings even today, because they are not familiar with it.

Although they are ancient churches and their sacraments are all valid, i do believe that the eastern and oriental orthodox churches has lost their original patriarchal succession, that is they are not directly successor of the Patriarchal throne founded by the Apostles, due to the schism in the Oriental Orthodox that joined the Catholic church, I read some documents showed that the faction that joined the Catholic church is the rightful successor of the Patriarchal throne. In the Eastern Orthodox, they lost their Patriarchal ancestry when the Rome and the Oriental churches left. In summary. All the rites of the ancient church exist in the Catholic communion, it has the completeness of all the tradition and history of all churches combined.

An Orthodox priest once wrote an essay about the differences between Catholics and Orthodox, and in it he tried to give some evidence that the Orthodox were more true than the Catholics on the points where they disagree. The article was responded to on the Catholic Answers Forums at this link: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=541360

Page 1 contains the Orthodox priest’s essay.
Page 2 contains a Catholic response to it, point-by-point.

With all due respect, I would say that we are in a state of schism, rather than throwing the name “schismatic” back and forth at each other. For an intense and well-thought-out discussion of where East and West stand today, please take a look at the posts by that title in the Eastern Catholic forum, one that is up to 37 pages at the moment. We will all do better to look at what unites us rather than what divides us; let the theologians argue the dividing points, and let us all pray for each other. Peace to all, (73 to all you hams), over and out!

Absolutely 100% incorrect. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Orthodox Churches are true churches with valid Holy Orders, as are the various Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East.

The various Orthodox “Churches” are simply schismatic parts of the Catholic Church. Having valid orders does not hide that fact.
Yes I do pray that they will see the light and come back into the fold.

My point was not about which church is in a state of schism from the other. My point is that the Orthodox Churches are indeed true particular churches, as taught by the Catholic Church. Your use of quotation marks above suggests that the Orthodox aren’t truly churches, and is entirely inappropriate.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1399:

“The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. ‘These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.’”

I can’t really speak to many of the differences in traditions, as my experience with EOC has been limited. However, as Ryan pointed out–they too trace their origins to the Apostles. What I do know however, is that the trigger of the schism was the ‘filogue’ clause in the Creed, where the word ‘filoque’ was added in the Latin translation from the original Greek. This was ratified by the Pope–and the Eastern churches objected, and never recognized the Pope’s authority to ratify the change (let alone the Latin Bishops to gratuitously insert a word that was not debated, or expressly contemplated). The original creed, drafted in Greek, did not say ‘proceeds from the Father and from the Son’–only from ‘the Father’. Hence the EOC’s believed–and still do–believe–that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, as does the Son–but not that the HS proceeds from the Son too. This controversy exploited the fact that they do not, and have never, recognized the supremacy of the See of St. Peter.

CAVEAT: this is just my humble understanding and characterization of the controversy…

What I find truly note-worthy, and remarkable–is that the EOC’s have essentially been in almost complete agreemnt with their Western counterparts–(the Bishops that are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome) in virtually every major doctrinal issue, other than the Papacy. The similiarities are staggering on everthing from the sacraments, to mariology–pretty much everthing but the papacy.

I have actually found that the conformity of the Easter Rite Churches–the similarites to the Roman Cat. Church, that is–to be especially damning and discrediting to protestantism–and extremely reassuring to the genuiness of our faith.

E.g.—how is it, that this other church*–the only other church which can claim apostolic origin–is sooooo similar to the Roman Cat. Church, in so many ways–even without recognizing the Pope–while Protestantism, with its completely fabricated from whole cloth foundatinal pillars of sola scriptura, and sola fide…are so damn different???

It serves to underscore the point, that Catholicism (both Eastern and Roman Rite), being founded on Sacred Tradition, as passed on from teh Apostles and through the Church Fathers (some of them shared, some not)—stands is stark contrast to the protestant perversion.

IOW: it underscores the dichotomy to which the reformation always seems to boil down to: The Church Fathers, vs. the Reformers.

Final note: the Eastern Rite churches have the Holy Eucharist, wihch is recognized by the Pope and the Roman Rite catholic Churches–along with all of the sacraments.

…any differences after that, are, for all practical purposes, a matter of style.

*note: I use the word ‘church’, as in ‘other church’, really, for lack of a better term-- not to distinguish it from the Catholic church, as it is really a different ‘Rite’, within the same ‘Church’–the One, True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which Yeshua founded.

The Orthodox is a Church. The Catholic Church says so. Do they have valid bishops? Yes. Where the bishop is, there is the Church.

There is a lot. I have been plugging away at a book for 3 months now (I’m a slow reader) that talks about Orthodox theology. This is such a broad question it is so hard to even know where to begin to answer it. While on the surface it doesn’t appear to be a huge difference between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, the underlying theological understanding to basically everything about the faith is totally different that we could be talking about the same thing, but understanding it in two completely different ways.

I think this is one of the differences between East and West. thistle’s comments prove it. In terms of “what is the Church”, thistle understands it as taught in the West. There is One Church in the very sense of the word One. That One Church is divided into 23 particular Churches. Each particular Church is only a piece of the whole, and each piece can only be complete if it is in communion with Rome which is regarded as the main piece and the only piece that can stand by itself. That is the Latin understanding of ecclesiology. Every diocese is not a Church into itself, but a local Church that is a piece of the one, wider Church.

The East has a totally different understanding of ecclesiology that borrows heavily by what we understand about the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity. Every Church is an individual and independend Church under its bishop. Each Church is whole unto itself, the same way that each individual person is a whole person unto themselves. We all form a communion into the one body of Christ, yet do not cease to be distinct from one another nor ceasing to be complete by ourselves as a person. As St. Paul writes:

[BIBLEDRB]1 Corinthians 10:17[/BIBLEDRB]

The same with the Church. Each one is distinct and independent and wholy by itself, where the bishop is, and where the people are gathered around him and where Christ is present in the Eucharist, there is the Church (paraphrasing St. Ignatius of Antioch). Just as there are three distinct persons yet only One God, the same mystery applies to the multitude of believers distinct from one another yet form one Body of Christ. The Church, each distinct and full and complete under each bishop, yet in communion with one another forms One Church.

This means that if one bishop goes into schism, the Church is not broken up. The body of Christ still remains whole, it did not lose a finger or a toe or a limb. Because the individual Churches are not parts to a whole, but it is in communion that they become united as a whole.

The Latin ides of parts to a whole gave breath to the theory of the “Two Lungs”. But if this is accurate, does this mean that the Church has a hard time breathing when East and West schismed?

No, the most you can get out of Thistle’s statement is Thistle’s understanding. You have no justiification for presuming it is what the West teaches.

The East has a totally different understanding of ecclesiology that borrows heavily by what we understand about the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity. Every Church is an individual and independend Church under its bishop. Each Church is whole unto itself, the same way that each individual person is a whole person unto themselves. We all form a communion into the one body of Christ, yet do not cease to be distinct from one another nor ceasing to be complete by ourselves as a person.

No, it is not totally different. The East fully understands that each Church is part of a universal Church, and the West fully understands that each particular Church is a true Church in its full sense. It is just that in apologetics and polemics, one side will tend to emphasize one aspect over the other. But it is not that either side denies the aspect that the other side focuses on.

The same with the Church. Each one is distinct and independent and wholy by itself,

What a false understanding of St, Paul. If anything, St. Paul teaches more about the unity of the body than anything approaching what you are saying. Independent? Wholly by itself? Where do those words appear in any of St, Paul’s letters? No particular Church is independent and wholly by itself,. Each particular Church is part of every other particular Church and are joined in a bond as one body of Christ Your understanding of Eucharistic ecclesiology is all backwards. Eucharistic ecclesiology is about the admission of the full reality of the Church in each member Church - it is not about a claim to independence and being “wholly by itself” from other Churches…As another Eastern Catholic stated in another thread, you are trying to be more Eastern than the Easterns.

The Latin ides of parts to a whole gave breath to the theory of the “Two Lungs”. But if this is accurate, does this mean that the Church has a hard time breathing when East and West schismed?

Yes, I believe this is the case. I don’t believe the parts of the Church can exist separately, but must be united, according to the Lord’s own ordinance. I think that is the main point of the two-lungs concept.

Blessings,
Marduk

It is what the West teaches and I did not get that from thistle’s post. I understood thistle’s post in light of that fact.

No it does not. Because the West teaches that each Church has two bishops, the Local Ordinary and the Pope. And the Church is only true if it has both (ie. being in communion with the Pope thus making the Pope also have the same Ordinary powers as the Local Ordinary). It is very clear in the ecclesiology of the West that they no longer teach this Eucharistic model. There is now a flat heirarchy in the West, suffragan dioceses are now on the same rank as Archdioceses. An Archdiocese today is merely an honorific, the archbishop has no oversign on the suffragan dioceses and bishops in any way. Even the national Primates are nothing more than honorifics today and in fact only countries that ever has a functioning Primatal Church still get to have an honorific Primate today. Other countries have simply stopped recognizing a Primate. There are no longer abilities by archbishops and primates to call their Churches and those under their oversight into council. There is a conference of bishops today which in no way functions the same way as a synod would in the past, or how at least the Eastern Churches both Catholic and Orthodox still apply today.

So your unsubstantiated claim is wrong.

Independent that I am not you and you are not me. I can think for my own and act of my own will. Yet in communion with Christ we are all one. That is gone in the Church today. If the Pope says something, all Churches must follow or their bishops get replaced. They can’t even talk back to the Pope. That is the Eucharistic Model, it is true for individual persons, it is true for the Church. The Church after all is a living entity as the body of Christ.

And that is wrong. Like I said, if one lung schisms from the other lung, doesn’t that mean that the Body of Christ is suddenly out of breath? No. Even if there is only one orthdoox bishop standing, believing and teaching the truth, the Church of Christ is still whole in that bishop. Regardless of what Rite that bishop follows. The Two Lung theory is actually a great disservice to all Churches. First, Rome assumes she is equally important alone as all the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East, and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Second, Rome admits that by herself she is incomplete.

Back up your claim that the West does not believe that a local diocese is not a true Church from the Latin teaching. Give us a quote from a Magisterial source.

Contrary to your claim, the documents of Vatican 1 (not Vatican 2, but Vatican 1) refer to to the Eastern Orthodox as a Church. And the Latin West makes a distinction between the ecclesial communities of Protestants and a Church proper which has a bishop. Back up your claim please. If you cannot, retract it and stop trying to misrepresent the Latin Church.

And despite your baseless claim that the ecclesiologies are so different, you have yet to provide one EO source that denies the notion that a local Church is not part of the universal Church.

No it does not. Because the West teaches that each Church has two bishops, the Local Ordinary and the Pope. And the Church is only true if it has both (ie. being in communion with the Pope thus making the Pope also have the same Ordinary powers as the Local Ordinary).

The Church teaches that the Pope, the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, and the local bishop has ordinary jurisdiction in a local diocese. But only the local bishop has proper juirisdiction in his diocese. Your use of the word “ordinary” is equivalent to the term “proper” in Catholic canonical language. I have corrected you on this matter before, but you repeat your error here. Each diocese has only one proper bishop.

It is very clear in the ecclesiology of the West that they no longer teach this Eucharistic model.

It is very clear you have little knowledge of the Latin Church, as evinced from your posts in other threads where you have misrepresented both Latin Catholic Tradition, and the teaching of the Catholic Church.

There is now a flat heirarchy in the West, suffragan dioceses are now on the same rank as Archdioceses. An Archdiocese today is merely an honorific, the archbishop has no oversign on the suffragan dioceses and bishops in any way. Even the national Primates are nothing more than honorifics today and in fact only countries that ever has a functioning Primatal Church still get to have an honorific Primate today.

Just hot air. A lot of Eastern Orthodox believe exactly that - that head bishops only have a primacy of honor. So you have no justificiation for your criticism by comparison to EO’xy. A while ago, the EO Church of Antioch demoted a bunch of its bishops to auxiliary status. That’s never happened in the Catholic Church.

There are no longer abilities by archbishops and primates to call their Churches and those under their oversight into council.

I believe the president of the conference has that prerogative. So what?

There is a conference of bishops today which in no way functions the same way as a synod would in the past, or how at least the Eastern Churches both Catholic and Orthodox still apply today.

Episcopal conferences do have some powers, and operate exactly as Eastern and Oriental Synods in some respects. There was a post on this by brother Tyler a few months back, detailing some of the prerogatives of Episcopal conferences.

So your unsubstantiated claim is wrong.

Says the one who hasn’t even given any proof for his claims.

Independent that I am not you and you are not me.

That’s not what “independent” means. You made your intention clear when you added “wholly by itself.” Face it, you meant exactly what you stated, but had to correct yourself when you realized the incomprehensibility of your thinking in the face of apostolic Tradition.

I can think for my own and act of my own will. That is gone in the Church today.

RIIIIGHT.The fact that you constantly misrepresent the Catholic Church and get away with it is proof enough of the ludicrousness of that claim.

If the Pope says something, all Churches must follow or their bishops get replaced. They can’t even talk back to the Pope. That is the Eucharistic Model, it is true for individual persons, it is true for the Church. The Church after all is a living entity as the body of Christ.

Yet, St. Robert Bellarmine taught that we are obligated to resist directives by the Pope if they are destructive of the Church (gee, I wonder who we should listen to - ConstantineTG who gets his knowledge of the Catholic Church from non-Catholic sources, or one of the greatest Saints and defenders of the Catholic Faith). And Canon law states that local bishops can grant dispensations even from universal laws. And Canon law says that not even a motu proprio can deprive a person of his acquired rights. Your view of Catholic ecclesiology, especially the papacy, is certainly not based on any Catholic sources.

And that is wrong. Like I said, if one lung schisms from the other lung, doesn’t that mean that the Body of Christ is suddenly out of breath? No. Even if there is only one orthdoox bishop standing, believing and teaching the truth, the Church of Christ is still whole in that bishop. Regardless of what Rite that bishop follows. The Two Lung theory is actually a great disservice to all Churches. First, Rome assumes she is equally important alone as all the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East, and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Second, Rome admits that by herself she is incomplete.

Yup, Jesus and the Apostles taught us the importance of unity. It is an apostolic Tradition carried on and lived by the Catholic Church more than any other out there.

Blessings,
Marduk

Not quite. There is no division in the Church into ‘parts’.

“And that is wrong. Like I said, if one lung schisms from the other lung, doesn’t that mean that the Body of Christ is suddenly out of breath? No. Even if there is only one orthdoox bishop standing, believing and teaching the truth, the Church of Christ is still whole in that bishop. Regardless of what Rite that bishop follows. The Two Lung theory is actually a great disservice to all Churches. First, Rome assumes she is equally important alone as all the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East, and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Second, Rome admits that by herself she is incomplete.”

I’d like to hear a rebuttal to this.

For someone who has never provided any magisterial source to all of his claims, you sure are adamant that this is the only way to prove something right from wrong. Yet you yourself has no proof offered.

Mentioning names of councils is not magisterial proof. I can say Council of Trent and make stuff up. Practice what you preach and back up your claims.

I have proven my claims substantially. Can you substantiate that my claim is not true? Can you point me to a Latin local synod since Vatican II? Can you point me to a solid evidence that an Archbishop has oversight over a Suffragan diocese since Vatican II? Until you can refute these claims with magisterial evidence, YOU are the one who has proven nothing.

FALSE! Provide a magisterial source where it says that a Patriarch and a Metropolitan has Ordinary jurisdiction in a diocese under their oversight. C’mon mardukm, you keep asking for evidence yet you yourself has offered none. Where’s the proof?

You mean this:
However, the jurisdiction proper to the bishops derives from the jurisdiction of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is contained in the supreme jurisdiction as the lesser perfection is contained in the greater.

ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/chwordin3.htm

It just proved my point. Thanks mardukm! :thumbsup:

Proof beyond proof that the Bishops are under the Pope, and they merely have a subset of the jurisdiction of the Pope. Thus each particular Church is not a full Church but merely a piece of the entire Church.

Wow, all this time I thought you were against me. I didn’t realize you were actually helping me prove the truth I was talking about. Thanks again! :thumbsup:

I have no error, your understanding is in error. As noted in the link above, not only does the Pope have equal authority to the local bishop, he has more authority because the local bishop only derives their authority not from God but from the Pope (in that same link posted above).

I have been spot on every time. I have substantiated my claim. Where are your links? Where are your magisterial documents?

Until you yourself provide your proof thought magisterial documents, all the hot air is coming only from you.

mardukm, refuted again! What else is new?

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.