What is the difference between Orthodox Church Roman Catholic Church?



I would like to ask if the Catholic Church is the true Church then why is it divided into Orthodox and Roman Catholic?

I don’t want to create a debate here but this question bothers me for a long time. Btw, I’m a young Roman Catholic and Im not familiar with the differences of the two Catholic Churches. I appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thanks and God bless!

  1. the Orthodox are NOT part of the Catholic Church (which is in communion with the Pope).

  2. I think you are thinking of the Eastern Catholic Churches which are in communion with the Pope.

The Catholic Church has always allowed for cultural differences and has had multiple liturgical Rites thought history.

However, after the Muslim attacks on Christian lands in the East, a huge chunk of Christianity (about 2/3rds) was taken away. Most Eastern Catholics and Oriental Orthodox (who broke away from the Catholic Church in the 4th century) were forced into Islam.

Then, in the 11th century, most of the remaining Eastern Catholics went into schism, hence the Eastern Orthodox.

Also, before the Council of Trent, in the West not all Latin (Western) Catholics were Roman Catholic. There were Gallican Catholics, Celtic Catholics, African Catholics, Sarum Catholics, etc. Trent forced all Latin Catholics to use the Roman Rite unless their Rite was at least a few hundred years old.

And before Vatican II, there were a lot more Braga Catholics, Ambrosian Catholics, etc

However, over the centuries, Eastern Christian communities have returned to full communion with the Pope.

The reason most people associate being Catholic with the Roman Rite and why most Catholics are Roman Catholics is because the Roman Rite is the largest Rite in terms of numbers - by far. If Islam never would have conquered most of the Eastern Catholics / Christians, then perhaps the Roman Rite would not be so synonymous with Catholicism.

Here is a Wikipedia site with some of the Catholic Rites.


The sacks of the 13th and 15th centuries were substantially bigger deals in promoting Roman abandonment. Pretty much the only people that really cared about the excommunications of the 11th century were the clergy working in Constantinople and Rome. Belly-aching between those two sees was “old news” to the rest of Christendom by that point.



Ohh I see. But is it okay if a Roman Catholic marries Eastern Orthodox Catholic?


Yes, there are numerous such marriages.


There are non-roman yet eastern churches that are in communion with the Pope.


The term “Eastern Orthodox Catholic” is a little confusing.

While the Eastern Orthodox Church (the one NOT in Communion with the pope) is technically named the “Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church” for the sake of confusion, they are typically referred to as the “Eastern Orthodox Church” because we have the informally named “Eastern Catholics” which refer to all of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Anyway, it’s ok if a Catholic marries an Eastern Orthodox but hopefully, they will be able to raise any kids Catholic. If they live in an urban area or an area with a lot of Eastern Europeans, perhaps they can attend a Byzantine Catholic Church.

For more information on the difference and history of Rome - Constantinople relations, check out 2lungs.com

God Bless


Legally in the US you can marry anyone you are not closely related to and is single.

Roman Catholics can get permission (dispensation) to marry those of others faiths. Christian or not. It requires an agreement to allow the catholic to remain catholic and there is usually a question of what to raise the kids.

You will need to figure exactly what faith the other person is and ask an authority of their faith what the rules are. If it’s an orthodox Christian and they want a church wedding in their church I think they will require you to convert.


That’s generally not the case. What the Orthodox will require is that the wedding take place in the Orthodox Church.


According to the Synod in Crete, an Orthodox can marry another Christian denomination if the local bishop approves. It is a still disputed paragraph though.
Otherwise the answer was always no. I mean no to the Sacrament of marriage. The civil union is up.to the newly weds and the laws of the country.


For years prior to the Synod of Crete, there have been marriages between Eastern Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians that take place in the Orthodox Church. Perhaps some particular churches, or some bishops don’t permit it, but it has been taking place for some time now. What I’ve always been told is that an Orthodox Christian is not permitted to marry outside the Orthodox Church, and doing so results in excommunication.


No, this isn’t true.

In fact, it is generally agreed between the RCC and the various EO that joint marriages should be held in the EO church, as such marriages are recognized by both churches, while most (all?) of the EO do not recognize the marriage of one of their members in an RCC wedding.



The holy sacraments are viewed first, holy communion is not under the Roman Catholic Pope. Second, the sacrament of reconciliation is evaluated. The difference between mortal and venial sins is different. That information is available online and the Orthodox Church considers far more sins as mortal sins than the Roman Catholic Church. History records so many things, but the deliverance from sin and receiving of Christ is most important.

Can those of different denominations marry in a Roman Catholic Church? Pope Francis is empowering bishops in many ways… remember… holy communion is taken in the holy sacrament of marriage for most. So, that is important to discuss with any bishop in advance.


The Orthodox is a schismatic part of the Catholic Church.


sort of. It’s not that only the four biggies are considered mortal, but that the distinction isn’t actually drawn between mortal and venial (even though you will find plenty of writings using the terms :thinking::roll_eyes:). Those four (striking a priest, murder, rape, and certain blasphemy/apostasy, iirc) are handled specially–but you’re not going to wander not a western confessional for a routine confession with those, either (consider abortion, for example, until the recent changes).

Does anyone listen to Roman instruction not to claim this???



The Orthodox are a schismatic part of the Catholic Church.


What about those nominal Roman Catholics who defy papal directives not to characterize orthodoxy as such?




No, there is no such thing as being a schismatic part of the Catholic Church. One is either part of the Church, and in communion with the Supreme Pontiff, or one is not. Schism, as an ecclesiastical crime (1983 CIC, canon 751) entails with it excommunication latae sententiae (canon 1364). A distinction is also made between major excommunication and minor excommunication; the former revokes Church membership due to defection from the faith (heresy, schism, apostasy), while the latter does not. A formal schismatic is no longer a member of the Church, and likewise, a schismatic sect (such as the Orthodox) are not part of the Catholic Church. The notion of a schismatic part of the Church is contradictory and erroneous.


SSPX is a schismatic movement of the Catholic Church.


No, the Church has clarified that the SSPX is not schismatic. I will not derail this thread, but as a student of canon law I will say that I have looked at this issue very thoroughly, and have concluded that with the SSPX there is no schism.

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