What is the difference between Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic?


Yes I do. Second Sunday of the Great Fast. Hebrews 1: 10 - 2: 3; Mark 2: 1-12.


Oh, you’re way above my pay grade here. I’m a guy with a spectacular (but not quite eidetic) memory, not a theologian.

But to give you a rather eaten answer . . . needing to nail it down and explain is very western. We’re fine with the mysteries being unspecific.

I can’t see the parent to this, but the Catholic Churches do not see transition between them, or from Orthodox to Catholic, as conversion, but rather enrollment.


Gregory Palamas teaches nothing against Catholic theology- in-fact his teachings (if properly understood) are same as Latin teachings (if properly understood). Created and uncreated grace is same as in Latin sense, it’s just terminology that divides us (essence being defined differently in Latin as in Greek, Greeks define energy and essence while Latins define essence to have parts which would be
equal to greek energy).

In-fact, I believe Palamites made use of works of Thomas Aquinas in final years of Eastern Roman Empire. Those are both taken out of context to be conflicting Western and Eastern theologians, but in-fact they agree on many things and complement each other on many other things- much like West and East in Catholic Church.


While traditionally (small t) Latin West defined purgatory with pain, no doctrine defines this to be painful. In-fact, Mark of Ephesus, Greek Bishop, won the argument at Council of Florence concerning nature of purgatorial flames, therefore Latins (and Greeks alike, this council consisted of both East and West) define purgatory in his sense. Pain of purgatory would be the pain of being guilty, pain of knowledge (“Oh how could I have done those sins…”) and pain of being deprived of God’s grace for limited amount of time while you yearn for it while you are purified.


Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ukiah, California celebrates Saint Gregory Palamas on the second Sunday of the Great Fast. This is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic monastery, but I don’t have enough experience of other parishes or monasteries to know beyond that.


Why would you attend a schismatic Liturgy?


I belong to a small UGCC mission and we celebrate him on that day also.

That’s a tad harsh…the only real difference between the Orthodox Liturgy and the Eastern Catholic one is which hierarchs are commemorated. The same Lord is present on the altar.


I think most do. All should.



And why would you defy papal teachings by calling it that?


If you did come into full communion with the Catholic Church, since you are baptized (I assume) Russian Orthodox, you would be ascribed to the Russian Catholic church sui iuris. A Latin Catholic spouse is free to switch to the other spouses Catholic sui iuris church when there are two between them. It is more restrictive for the Eastern churches to transfer at marriage since only the wife is free to transfer, without petition.

Eastern canon law:

Canon 33 - A wife is at liberty to transfer to the Church of the husband at the celebration of or during the marriage; when the marriage has ended, she can freely return to the original Church sui iuris.
Canon 32 §1. No one can validly transfer to another Church sui iuris without the consent of the Apostolic See.

Latin canon law:

CIC Can. 112 §1. After the reception of baptism, the following are enrolled in another Church sui iuris :
1° one who has obtained permission from the Apostolic See;
2° a spouse who, on entering marriage or during its course, has declared that he or she is transferring to the Church sui iuris of the other spouse; on the dissolution of the marriage, however, that person may freely return to the Latin Church;


Popes themselves have attended Orthodox services. Are they breaking the law?

Should I as an Orthodox Christian stay away from Catholic services?


There seems to be confusion about Liturgies of “other” Church.

No one should ever receive Eucharist at another Church. This is because Eucharist is symbol of unity. If you believe to be united with both Churches, either there is indifferentism or you are “serving two masters”.

Anyone is free to attend Liturgy of either Church, but to imply they are essentially the same for us would not be right. Liturgy is where Church get it’s daily power from and also where power of Church manifests. Therefore to believe it does not matter is not exactly right. Catholic can not fulfill Sunday Obligation on Orthodox Liturgy and I believe this to be true vice-versa.

Eastern Orthodox stance is, officially, that there is absolutely no guarantee of valid Eucharist or valid Orders within Catholic Church. Some Autocephalous Churches seem to recognize those in Catholic Church, some do not. For Eastern Orthodox, it is up to local hierarch to judge this to be either right or wrong. You still should not receive Eucharist on Catholic Liturgy unless there is serious reason, or competent person allows it (your hierarch and perhaps Catholic priest). If there is no belief absolutely that you are on heretical service I think the impairment to receive is not as big, but if you deny some Catholic dogmas to be heretical there is absolutely no reason for you to receive Eucharist.

Catholic stance would be that you can receive Eucharist at Orthodox service if allowed by Orthodox authority and for a good reason. You should not substitute your own Church for another Church without good reason. This rule might not concern people too much in some highly Eastern areas where Orthodox-Eastern Catholic relations are good, but it is rule nevertheless.

Attending Orthodox service however, is not bad at all. Showing indifference to which service you attend, however, is. Truth is no matter how little or how much we need towards full communion, those estimations are your opinion. Churches are not united. It may be “issue with upper management” and it may not. Competent authorities decided that it is better to not fake perfect unity when there is no perfect unity yet. Pray for unity in truth and in Christ, but support what you believe in.


If celebrating Gregory Palamas isn’t Ukrainian tradition, it should not be forced upon them. We ought to respect tradition of each particular Church. Not all Byzantine Christians have it same, I think it should be their decision whether or not to celebrate this saint. Wouldn’t forcing other Eastern traditions on UGCC be a violation of V2 call to return to their ancient tradition?


Amongst the Orthdox who follow the Byzantine tradition (i.e. Greeks, Russians, Romanians, etc.) St. Gregory is uniformly commemorated the second Sunday of Great Lent.

I invite correction from Eastern Catholics, but I believe it would be correct to say the UGCC would not be violating V2 to return to that practice.


Well, if you7 know better than the last few popes, I suppose we don’t need the Vatican any more . . .


Perhaps I should clarify my position.

Active participation in non-Catholic worship is always forbidden by Divine positive Law. However, mere bodily presence at such rites does not constitute active participation in them. I’ve heard from moral theology manuals that it is alright to do the latter, so long as there is a just cause and scandal can be avoided.


No. What we need is Popes who will reaffirm the traditional teachings of the Church.


It’s not whether it’s a Ukrainian tradition or not. All Byzantines, Catholic and Orthodox, use the same lectionary (the only difference is whether the particular Church is on the Gregorian, Julian or Revised Julian) just like all Roman Catholics use the same Roman lectionary. So, on the second Sunday of Great Lent, according to the Byzantine lectionary regardless of what particular Church one belongs to, we celebrate Saint Gregory Palamas’ feast day. It’s like saying Polish Roman Catholics don’t have to have Saint Francis on their calendar because he wasn’t Polish. It’s not forcing anything on anyone. It’s in our liturgical calendar.



Not at all. The UGCC uses the Byzantine lectionary and Saint Gregory Palamas is celebrated on the second Sunday of Great Lent regardless of whether you are Catholic or Orthodox.



Except that this position is at odds with what the Church actually taught at the Second Vatican Council concerning the Eastern Churches not currently in communion with Rome.

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