What are the similarities between Orthodoxy and Catholicism

I would like to know what are the similarities between Catholicism and Orthodoxy…

Since we agree on so much, it might be easier to list the few things we disagree on. For example:

Pope is head of the Church. Catholics, yes. Orthodox, no.
Filioque. Catholics, yes. Orthodox, no.
Married clergy. Catholics, mostly no. Orthodox, mostly yes.
Bread used at mass. Catholics, unleavened. Orthodox, leavened.
Date of Easter.

Pretty much everything. There’s little that we differ, and I dare to argue that this East-West schism may end before it completes 1000 years in 2054. We have our theological differences, but it’s nothing out of this world :slight_smile:

Let’s not forget of our two additional Marian dogmas. :thumbsup:

Pretty much everything. There’s little that we differ, and I dare to argue that this East-West schism may end before it completes 1000 years in 2054. We have our theological differences, but it’s nothing out of this world

Wouldn’t that reunion be wonderful?!! Lets pray for it often!

Some of those distinctions are East-West differences rather than Catholic-Orthodox.

Your first example and to some degree your second one are real differences between Catholic and Orthodox.

Additionally there are the ecumenical councils after the first seven and dogmas defined by the Papacy like the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, all of which Catholics accept (or ought to) and Orthodox do not, at least as formally defined dogmas. There are a number of other issues too. For example, the Catholic Church regards sacramental marriage as indissoluble whereas the Orthodox do not, permitting divorce and remarriage between baptized people. The Catholic Church as a firm and consistent position against artificial contraception; the Orthodox Church does not. The Orthodox Church gives the sacrament of chrismation (confirmation) to converts from Catholicism; the Catholic Church does not re-confirm converts from the Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church has dogmatically defined divine simplicity; the Orthodox Church has promoted teachings that can be interpreted as contradicting divine simplicity. The Catholic Church believes in Original Sin; the Orthodox Church rejects this teaching. The list could go on.

The whole question of the Atonement and the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ to avert the wrath of God on men for their sins.

They pretend to agree on a lot but if they disagree on the fundamental nature of what Jesus’s mission actually was, then it’s obviously a big chasm between the two.

Not necessarily true… And that question can be easily put to bed if the Churches call an Ecunemical Council on the matter. And it’s big no heresy to be on one side or the other… :rolleyes:

Same hierarchical structure and similar theology, however advertised as two different company names.

Two different names of the same feather.

From the address given by Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown University in October 1997
Assuredly our problem is neither geographical nor one of personal alienation. Neither is it a problem of organizational structures, nor jurisdictional arrangements. Neither is it a problem of external submission, nor absorption of individuals and groups. It is something deeper and more substantive. The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different. Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible.

This is the Orthodox position. The Catholic position, on the other hand, is that we are indeed very similar - so much so that we invite individual Orthodox Christians, who are properly disposed, to receive from our Eucharistic table. Within the Catholic communion, the Latin, Byzantine, Syriac, etc traditions all co-exist in harmony. Obviously the Orthodox disagree, but Catholics tend to believe that most of our differences can be reconciled and are simply diffrent expressions of the same underlining Truth. Some Orthodox Christians seem to accept this position more so than others.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

838 “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”

You are free to believe that we are ontologically different or that Catholics have departed from the orthodox faith handed down to the saints…but you won’t convince us…as far as we Catholics are concerned you are already catholic Christians, and fundamentally orthodox, who receive the same Lord in the eucharistic sacrifice - but are simply in an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church.

The catholic church has one liturgy calendar in 3 cycles so the entire gospel is covered over a period of 3 years. Is this the same for orthodox churches?

This is only true of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which has only been used in the Catholic Church since 1969. The older form of the Roman Rite, the Extraordinary Form or Tridentine Latin Mass, has a one year cycle. This is also true of all the Eastern / Oriental Rites, as far as I am aware, including the Byzantine Rite which is shared by Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

:thumbsup: See my signature.

I went to a dictionary and to Wiki to try to get an understanding of what it means for you t be “ontologically different”. I still don’t get it.

Can you explain what this means using simple words? :stuck_out_tongue:

In the West, and particularly among Protestants, atonement has come to mean appeasing an angry God. This we certainly do reject. Atonement itself, that Christ died so that our sins could be forgiven through him, is taught by the Fathers. Emphasis in the East, however, is on Christ’s victory over death, granting us freedom. The two ideas, properly taken, compliment each other rather than contradict each other.

Yes, we have a one year cycle.

The very essence or nature of our being is different.
If you would like a clearer understanding of this I would recommend reading the book “Church, Papacy and schism. A theological perspective”, by Philip Sherrard.

Could you clarify what you mean by this? The idea that Christ satisfied the Divine Justice is Patristic (and Biblical). For example, St. Athanasius writes, “Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all” (Discourse I, 60).

That all depends on how one understands “satisfying the divine justice”. Are we to believe, for example, that St. Athanasius believed that the death of Christ was being offered in order to satisfy the Father’s need (for lack of a better term) to punish sins with respect to the Divine Justice, as Anselm might have taught? A reading of St. Athanasius’ discourses on the incarnation seem to indicate not, for St. Athanasius’ main reasoning (at least in On the Incarnation) for why the Father could not simply revoke the sentence of death brought upon Adam and his descendents does not appeal to the Divine Justice, but rather presents God (and His dilemma) in an almost anthropomorphic light.

The most Sovereign High, having promised the crown of His creation death if he ate of the forbidden fruit was bound by His word to sentence His beloved creation Adam to death for his disobedience. To revoke the sentence would be to prove himself to be a liar, and He therefore sent his Only-Begotten into the world, that the sentence of death could be annulled by the death of the very source of life, thus freeing Adam without ever revoking His promise that Adam would die.

It is, perhaps, more crude and more fantastic (or even more human) than Anselm’s more polished account, in which the sentence of death could not have been revoked because Adam, through his disobedience, dishonored his immutable Creator, and to have revoked the sentence would have rendered to the Creator less honor from Adam than what was due, making the Creator in truth subject to change. For Anslem then, we have that God, in accordance with His justice and majesty must punish sins, for sins render to God less honor than what is due to Him, and since God is immutable, this honor-due must be rendered to God by means of punishment.

So do we believe that the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary satisfied the divine justice? In a certain sense, yes (perhaps in the sense that St. Isaac of Nineveh understood the Divine Justice), but not in the Anselmian sense, no.

While St. Anselm’s understanding of the atonement is not the doctrine of the Orthodox church, do you think it is absolutely incompatible with orthodoxy, or could it perhaps be an acceptable theologoumenon?

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