What beliefs are the SAME between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox?

I asked for the differences, now I would like to know the same beliefs. I do know they have sacraments like RC- as far as those are concerned…are they really the same and if so what about Communion? Reconciliation? stc… thanks

They have too much in common to list on a single thread. Yes they have all the sacraments of Catholicism, although their theology might not be the same. They have the Eucharist and they have reconciliation.

Pretty much everything except the differences mentioned in the other thread.

That is the RC POV. However, the GO sees major differences, even when RC believe there to be none.

Major differences other than the ones mentioned in the other thread (Filioque, papal primacy)? I did not know that.

We Catholics recognize that there is a difference between us, but that, “With the Orthodox Churches, [the] communion [with our Church] is so profound ‘that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.’” (CCC 838).

In the Orthodox church Holy Communion is always given by intinction with a spoon.
Reconciliation is done in the open church, no boxes.

You did not ask but one difference is that Chrismation is done by the priest at the same time as baptism. They are not separated by years and the bishop does not take part.

The Orthodox–Eastern (Greek, Russian, Georgian, etc.) and Oriental (Ethiopian, Coptic, Syrian, Indian, Armenian) all have the Holy Eucharist, as has been mentioned. They believe that Christ is really present in the sacrament (mystery). Like Catholics, the Eucharist is at the heart of Orthodox worship.

Another biggie. Orthodox honor the saints and ask their intercession. In the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom, the Virgin is commemorated numerous times. The Orthodox–certainly the Eastern, Coptic and Ethiopian at least–use sacred images in their churches and homes. I understand that while Syrians and Armenians don’t use icons nearly as much, they’re not at all opposed to them.

The Orthodox churches can trace their lineage all the way back to the apostles.

The Orthodox believe in praying for the departed.

The Orthodox biblical canons contain all the recognized Catholic deuterocanonical books, in addition to a few others.

Orthodox Christians venerate relics, and there exist a number of incorruptible saints (St. John Maximovitch comes to mind), as in Catholicism.

One sad commonality–native Orthodox lands, like Catholic countries, are prime targets for Protestant missionaries. Russia and Romania in particular it seems. I hate to see that, because the Orthodox and Catholics were here proclaiming the gospel centuries before they, and we are living proof that the early church did venerate Mary, believe in the real presence, etc. In these instances, it’s the Protestants who have some explaining to do.

A brief diversion on this point, if you don’t mind…

The Orthodox Syriacs actually use icons quite a bit. I’ve never been to an SOC Qurbono, but I’ve never seen pictures/videos of any SOC service that didn’t feature them. See, for instance, this very Byzantine-looking iconostasis in a Syriac Orthodox Church in Antioch:

The Northeast US Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church website has a three-page gallery of mostly modern Syriac icons (check out St. Basil the Great on the last page – Syriac and Greek together!).

While perhaps not exactly “icons” in the traditional Oriental style, the interior of the Amenaprkitch Armenian monastery in Isfahan, Iran certainly shows that the Armenians are not without artful decoration of their places of worship to equal the intensity as what you also see in Tewahedo churches and monasteries (which are very famous for this kind of “complete enclosure” approach to iconography, where there’s not a square inch that isn’t covered with something):

And lest anyone become concerned with what seems like Western religious art influences in the above (not a terribly uncommon thing to find in Armenian or even modern Coptic churches), the Armenians do also have their own iconographic tradition that is in line with the Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopian, which you can find in many Armenian churches, such as St. James Armenian Orthodox Church in the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem. (Note: The link opens as a very big image and I don’t know how to scale it down to show it here without ruining everyone’s computer; it’s really nice to see in such detail, though!)

It may be interesting to note that many of the results on Google for Armenian icons are not “free-hanging” icons but actually illuminated manscripts (they, along with the Ethiopians, seem to have produced these in copious amounts), like this one from 1391 depicting Pentecost:


So you can get a sense of what traditional Armenian icons should look like from those, and really what is an illuminated manuscript but a book with some icons painted in it? :slight_smile:

Also it is important to note that as Armenians have always been scattered throughout the world, many of their most famous iconographers are actually trained in other traditions, like the famous Armenian iconographer of 18th century Ottoman Egypt, Yuhanna al-Armani (“John the Armenian”), whose very Coptic icons are found in many famous monasteries and churches in Egypt, in addition to some which are housed in the Coptic museum in Cairo.

^ Not bad for an Armenian, right? :slight_smile:

If you don’t believe in Purgatory, why would you pray for the departed?

Why would one entail the other?

Because the prayers of those on earth may serve to lessen the suffering of the souls in Purgatory.

:confused:… intercessional prayer for the dead and intercessional prayer through the Saints.

“I have performed a few of the ascetic labours which God appointed for me, it is true, but how is it possible for us not to be afraid of the things which have been indicated to us by very many witnesses, that is to say, the river of fire, and the appearance before the Judge? And as for that river, everyone is bound to pass over it, whether he be a righteous man or whether he be a sinner, and it is right that thou shouldst pray on my behalf until I journey over that terrible road.

… If a man’s life upon this earth were to consist of one day only, he would not be free from sin. And, moreover, all flesh shall be purged by the fire.”

Saint Cyrus (Brit. Mus. MS. Oriental No. 6783. fol. 23 a)


“Orthodox reject the notion of the idea of purgatorial fire that is tied to it”. :confused:

“Other Orthodox believe in the “toll gate” theory by which the dead go to successive “toll gates” where they meet up with demons who test them to determine whether they have been guilty of various sins during life and/or tempt them to further sin. If they have not repented and been absolved of those sins, or if they give in to sin after death, they will be taken to Hell.”

"Some Eastern Orthodox sources, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate, consider Purgatory to be among “inter-correlated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church” that are not acceptable within Orthodox doctrine,[5] and hold to a “condition of waiting”[6] as a more apt description of the period after death for those not borne directly to heaven. This waiting condition does not imply purification, which they see as being linked to the idea “there is no hope of repentance or betterment after death.” Prayers for the dead, then, are simply to comfort those in the waiting place. "

“Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Kallistos Ware acknowledges several schools of thought among the Orthodox on the topic of purification after death.”

“Church Fathers, such as St. Cyprian and St. Augustine of Hippo, seemed to believe in a purification after death. However, the character of this purification is never clarified, and especially (as St. Mark of Ephesus underlined at the Council of Florence) it seems there is no true distinction between heaven, hell and the so-called purgatory: all souls partake differently in the same mystical fire (which, according to St. Isaac of Syria, is God’s Love) but because of their spiritual change they are bound to different reactions: bliss for those who are in communion with him; purification for those in the process of being deified; and remorse for those who hated God during their earthly lives. Because of this confusion and inability of the human language to understand these realities, the Church refrains from theological speculation. Instead, she affirms the unbroken Tradition of prayers for the dead, the certainty of eternal life, the rejection of reincarnation, and the communion of the Saints (those living and those who have fallen asleep in the Lord) in the same Body of Christ which is the Church.”

“Private speculation is thus still possible as it was in the time of the Church Fathers.”

Wiki Pedia

It is the belief of the Orthodox that the process of theosis is eternal; therefore, it makes sense to pray for the departed, even if there is no belief in purgatory. Also, at least some of the Orthodox believe that the eternal fate of the soul is not fixed at the time of death, but only at the time of the Final Judgment.

What is the difference with purgatory but what you described Ryan? Isn’t this only the descriptive language which all seem to use and isn’t defined?

Well, perhaps I’m ahead of myself, the better question is belief in the particular and general/final judgment. Anyway as far as the particular, I don’t see a difference. The process of theosis in being eternal would be the same.

The idea of praying for those in hell, is that still upheld in some areas of the East? I vaguely remember the church’s being in dialogue about this.

Moving ahead, 2 Maccabees, “It is a good and wholesome thing to pray for the dead”

My experience has been different. For years I have gone to the local Greek Orthodox Church, actually a proto cathedral, for various services, not on Sundays. I plan to be at Liturgy tomorrow for the feast of St Barbara. :slight_smile: I’ve been fewer times in a couple of other local Greek Orthodox Churches and the main Cathedral.

The usual question comes up walking to the parking lot, or if there is a lunch after services: "Where is *your *parish? When they hear I’m an Eastern Catholic nearly every time the response is “We the same!”

That said, as I recall in the original post OP said her daughter is dating a Greek Orthodox man, wondering what the implications are for that relationship. This can be a challenge. There are some folks in Catholic + Orthodox marriages who have been successful over the years. I would suggest connecting with them. The expectation would be to marry in the Orthodox Church and to baptize/chrismate/commune the children in the Orthodox Church, raising them as Orthodox Christians. Perhaps that isn’t a problem. The daughter might fully embrace Orthodoxy herself. :slight_smile:

Orthodox Catholic
Saints before 1050 Same
Liturgy Form by Sts. Basil, Gregory, John Chrysostom Same
Confession Same
Baptizing Babies Same
Naming Children After Saints Same
Belief if Creationism Same
Duality of Nature of Christ (Holy Trinity) Same

Fr. Achilles

Not sure about that, since I thought that E. Orthodox insist on triple immersion.

I think the assertion is that both baptize infants, not that they do so in the same manner.

Clearly, Purgatory is one way of explaining prayer for the dead. I “assume” that dzheremi was asking why you think it’s the only way of explaining it.

They are almost all the same.

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