What is the difference between Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic?


It depends on what particular church someone is a member of. In my case, the Orthodox Church in America whose primate is Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of all America and Canada. My bishop is Paul, Bishop of Chicago.

A number of other jurisdictions from outside the US have local diocesan bishops for their faithful.

In a side note, why did you put bishop in quotes in your question?


Because I’m not sure if a Patriarch, Metropolitan, etc… is a Bishop. Are those just titles, like arch bishop, Cardinal, Pope?


They are titles - all are indeed bishops. When we talk about primacy of honor, all bishops are equal including the primate, but at the same time the primate is given particular responsibilities to carry out in the life of the church, but being equal with his brother bishops he strives to carry out those responsibilities in a spirit of consensus and unanimity with all the bishops.


Like @Isaac14 said, all are bishops. Patriarch and Metropolitan are just titles. Think of the Pope of Rome. He is the Bishop of the diocese of Rome. Or the Ecumenical Patriarch, he is the Archbishop of Constantinople.



I did not say you did.

These are not ‘most organizations’ but canonical churches that do not have ‘one guy at the top’.


Don’t forget the pseudo-Synod of Lviv (1946)!


I doubt that the theology of the Eastern Catholic Church is the same as the theology of the Orthodox church. For one thing, the priest at the Byzantine Catholic Church has said that it is a mortal sin to miss Divine Liturgy on Sunday. It is my understanding that the Orthodox churches do not have mortal and venial sins.
Secondly, the Orthodox church does not recognize the infallibility of the pope, and further does not recognize the universal jurisdiction of the Roman Pope over the whole Church.


Only when we’re doing it right . . .

Neither do EC . . . although you will have no difficulty finding plenty of EO and EC writings on the matter . . .

Note the Melkite reservations on the signing of Vatican I . . .


There are other differences also:
Church approved divorce without annulment.
Use of artificial birth control tolerated under certain conditions.

Do Eastern Catholics accept Vatican I or do they reject Vatican I as do the Orthodox?


This is an aberration that should not be.

Even “tolerate” is too strong a word for that.

It is not a general situation, but something that applies with specific individuals after consultation with their priest about their specific circumstances.

These are both not so much distinct from annulment tribunals and NFP, but parallel.

And, bluntly, EC should be following Orthodox praxis on both.




I’ll go with Patriarch Athenagoras’ critic on Humanae Vitae, “We assure you that we remain close to you, above all in these recent days when you have taken the good step of publishing the encyclical Humanae Vitae. We are in total agreement with you, and wish you all God’s help to continue your mission in the world.”



Question for anyone who wish to answer it, why do Roman Catholic continue to beat a dead horse when talking about Pope being infallible? You know Orthodox Christians will never ever believe anything you say. Your wasting your breath talking about it. Your the only ones in this , so why do you it , it’s a work of fiction in many minds. I don’t believe you either. Catholics are leaving your Churches in large numbers. Just like that 1.2 billion Catholics is not a real number my guess is that the true number of Catholics is maybe 6 to 7 hundred million in total. The number of Catholics leaving the Church and 1. 2 billion never ever goes down so I guess they are still counting the Catholic’s who now Orthodox Christians or Protestants or nonbelievers. Just my two cents you don’t have to believe me but I though it need to be said


Hello. A genuine question as I had looked into the Orthodox Chirch in America. Aren’t they not in communion with the other Orthodox churches? I understand they hope they will be in the future, but are not and never have been as of now.

If the Orthodox Church in America is not in communion, then I would say, yes all of the legitimate or recognised Orthodox Churches’ top officials are indeed “allegiant to a “bishop” in Russia, Greece, Egypt etc…?” as @Justin_Mary was asking.


Thanks for the opportunity to clarify! The Orthodox Church in America is in communion with all Eastern Orthdox churches. Its status as an autocephalous church, however is not universally acknowledged. We were given our autocephalous status by the Russian Orthodox Church in, if I recall correctly, 1970. The Ecumenical Patriarch does not accept that Russia had the right to do so and views us an an autonomous church under Moscow.

In practice, the OCA behaves as an autocephalous church by, among other things, consecrating our own chrism oil and ordaining our bishops without seeking/needing approval from a “senior” church.

Indeed, even though not all churches recognize the OCA’s status, I am welcome to commune in any church regardless of how they view our jurisdictional status; our faith is recognized as being the same. Our clergy may concelebrate with clergy from any other Orthodox Church.


Re your last sentence: Surely you jest! “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.” If the life issues are not essential then everything goes. There’s a reason why we celebrate the Conception of St. John the Baptist (9/23), Immaculate Conception (12/8 or 12/9), and the Annunciation, when the Son of God assumed human nature in the immaculate and chaste womb of the Ever-Virgin Mary. He began His human life at conception. Since we are created in His Image, therefore life begins at conception. Pope Paul VI said that the marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life. (HV). To frustrate the marital act in any way is a grievous sin.

I understand that we have to maintain our own Tradition but I don’t think this is what the Council Fathers had in mind when they issued OE.


I have a book by an Orthodox Theologian Writer, I think it is called Mary and Jesus? It is basically an essay on the differences and similarities between what Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe. If I remember correctly, and please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought he mentioned most Orthodox believe in a place like Purgatory but they don’t call it that. I have also read that some Orthodox Theologians don’t feel that the Filioque is an obstacle between the two ancient apostolic churches. The book I mentioned seems like there is a lot of similarities, just different terminology used. Of course I admit I am no expert in the Orthodox Christian churches. I bought the book to learn more about.my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have a great respect for those churches and their traditions and pray one day we will be one again.

P.S., I will try and find the book tonight when I get home so I can give the title and author


The Eastern Churches both Orthodox and Catholic believe in purification but what we do not agree with the West is the need to make expiation for sin after death (Purgatory). We believe that a) the souls of the departed require purification before entering the Kingdom of God, and b) that prayers for the dead are efficacious to that effect.

I’m sure the filioque is a non-issue for most Orthodox. Just the ones you find on FaceBook lol!

There are two levels of theology; theologia prima and theologia secunda. The first is the foundational belief of the Church, as embedded in its rule of prayer. Where we differ, and this may be where the author refers to as terminology, would be the theologia secunda. Theologia secunda is the result of contemplation and reflection upon theologia prima. Because doctrine is culturally, historically and linguistically conditioned, it is this experience which shapes how the East and the West understand the theologia prima.

I think Purgatory is a good example of this. At theologia prima, we believe in the need for purification after death. Purgatory represents the theologia secunda of the Latin Church, and it is their prerogative to develop doctrine as they see fit.




The book is called ‘Jesus and Mary’
By Jon Kennedy, MA, Jenny Schroedel, and Reverend John Schroedel.

Been a long time since I read it. Found it in a book shop in Grand Rapids, MI. :blush:


I’ll look it up. Thanks!



Thank you, @Isaac14, for the clarification.

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