What is Eastern Catholics? I thought a Catholic is a Catholic? Please and thank you:D
Eastern Catholics are Catholics in communion with the Church in Rome, believe the same doctrines/dogmas, and have the same seven sacraments, but their liturgy and traditions resemble those of the Churches in Greece and other eastern areas rather than Rome. For example, Byzantine (Greek) Catholics believe the same things as Roman Catholics, but use Icons rather than statues and crucifixes, take communion using a spoon, and don’t use musical instruments in worship.
The Catholic Church is made up of 23 self-governing Churches, each with its own canon law, liturgical traditions, and hierarchy. The largest Church by far is the Latin Catholic Church, which is why it is the best known and the most common Catholic Church to find in the Americas. The other 22 Churches are considered Eastern Catholic Churches. All Catholic Churches are “equally” Catholic and share the same faith, even if our understandings of theology are different. We all recognize the authority of the Pope as the guarantor of unity amongst orthodox Christians, even though the various Churches worship differently and have different hierarchies.
The Eastern Catholic Churches are neither the Eastern Orthodox Churches nor the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox are unfortunately formally not in communion with each other or the Catholic Church at this time.
So my church say on the sign Roman Catholic church. Would a eastern church say eastern Catholic church on their sign? How would I find one?
Eastern Catholic Church (22 different Churches) is a more generic term than Roman Catholic Church (only one).
Signage might read “Byzantine Catholic”, “Greek Catholic”, “Melkite Catholic”, “Maronite Catholic”, etc.
As a cautionary note, some Orthodox churches include the word “Catholic” or “Greek Catholic” in their legal names for a variety of reasons too numerous and complicated to mention here.
If you are interested, a directory of Eastern Catholic parishes in the United States can be found here.
I’ve attended Sunday Divine Liturgy (Mass) at this lovely Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in St. Petersburg (Florida) a few times. It’s about an hour away from where I live. Here’s what the sign outside looks like.
The signage for the Byzantine church I go to says, “St. Irene Byzantine Rite Catholic Church.”
Cool. I love experiencing all thinks Catholic. I think its great for our children to also. You guys were very nice with answering my question.
Sure, thing, JillianRose. Just keep in mind, there are various naming conventions used, depending on rite used. Common ones are Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; Byzantine Catholic Church. Some churches won’t even make a clear distinction, as reflected in their own signage. Quick example is St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, which is the church I go to, for vespers; and I will be going there, tomorrow since there won’t be Divine LIturgy, at St. Irene’s. People won’t know which Orthodox jurisdiction it belongs to, unless they go inside.
Thank you so much.