What's the difference between Orthodox and Catholic?

What’s the difference between Orthodox and Catholic? How did the Orthodox church come about and are there any differences (such as beliefs) from Catholic? I’m going into a Roman Catholic church, so are there also differences between Catholic and Roman Catholic?
Just a simple explanation is all I’m after - thanks :slight_smile:

Roman Catholic is a rite within the church. Roman Catholics (or Latin Catholics as they are sometimes called) are what people typically associate with the term Catholic, but there are also Catholic rites, such as the Byzantine, Maronite, and other rites grouped into what are called the Eastern rites. A rite does not contain different teachings in terms of doctrine, but their disciplines may be different. Eastern Catholic churches may perform the mass a bit different, but they all believe the same things. However, they are all Catholic and recognize the Pope as the successor of Peter.

The Orthodox church, however, does not view the Pope as the successor of Peter, and they don’t recognize the apostolic succession. They have Patriarchs instead of a Pope. And each Patriarch is the head of a region, but none has any authority over another. As to how the split happened, I’ll refer you to the wikipedia article, because it knows better than I do on the subject.

The Orthodox certainly recognize Apostolic Succession.

Catholics have Patriarchs too. The Pope is essentially a Patriarch, even though he dropped the title “Patriarch of the West” officially. But there are Eastern Catholic Patriarchs.

Each Patriarch is a head of a Church.

The Pope is still a Patriarch? O:

You obviously must be new to the topic :smiley:

You have no idea what kind of conversation might come out of these questions. Things get a little off topic BELIEVE ME! :smiley:

What i mean is:

and the authority of the Pope along with other issues, have started so called, ummm i don’t know how else to put it, but they have started basically “Wars” or heated discussions. So brace yourself :thumbsup:

Yes, in the eyes of the Orthodox. We see him as he actually is. As pope and head of all patriarchs and the earthly Universal Church

Of course. He is the Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church. A bishop is not a bishop of anything more than his territory. Then by honors assigned to him he has a leadership role among other bishops of a certain comosition. So a bishop of one territory is a bishop. Then a collection of these territories surrounding a major city, the bishop of the major city is the archbishop. Then a composition of these archdiocese in a bigger territory, among them is a Primate. Then all under a particular Church such as the Roman Church, is under a Patriarchate. There were 5 ancient Patriarchates, Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Rome was accorded the primary of these Patriarchates, thus we have the Pope. The word “Pope” is just a title which means “Papa” or “Father”. The Patriarch of Alexandria in fact was the first to use such a title and continues to use the title until today.

The main difference is that Catholics believe that the pope has jurisdiction over the whole Church. The Orthodox believe that he only has authority over the West.

Another difference is that Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Orthodox believe that the HS proceeds only from the Father.

Catholics accept all 21 ecumenical councils, from Nicaea to Vatican II. Orthodox only accept the first 7 councils.

Those are a few major differences.

Now, that is awesome! :slight_smile:

I’ve also learned that they do not believe in the Immaculate Conception.

Neither do Eastern Catholics.

Wasn’t the Immaculate Conception pronounced ex cathedra (i.e. an infallible statement from the Pope)? So isn’t that belief binding on ALL Catholics? Or am I misunderstanding?

You are misunderstanding.

The Pope said we should retain our identity as Eastern Christians. The Immaculate Conception does not fit our theology. We do not declare it as heresy or say it is a wrong teaching in any way. But since it does not fit our theology, it is not part of our belief.

Thank you for the clarification.

That doesn’t mean you have a interdiction to believe it…You can have a sense of it…

While I’m not going to get drawn into this due to my past experiences with Catholic beliefs about what the differences are, I’ll suggest 1) Listening to Constantine, he knows what separates us. 2) Never, ever, listen to anyone who tells you Wikipedia knows more on the subject than they do. There is no shame in not knowing much on a subject, but it is an admission of a lack of any expertise.

Simple is not always simple when we are talking about a church two thousand years old.

Condensed history lesson: In the early church the scripture and liturgy were in Greek. Rome was the center of the ancient world. “All roads lead to Rome.” St. Peter understood that his mission from Christ was to be first Bishop of Rome, even though he would be martyred for it. Subsequent Bishops of Rome were acknowledged as the “Successor of St. Peter” as the world’s senior bishop, although there was some controversy about the exact role. Latin replaced Greek as the official language of the western church.

Eventually the western Roman Empire came under pagan attack. Emperor Constantine built Constantinople as his new capital, the “New Rome.” Rome declined to a small town. Many Patriarchs of Constantinople felt superior to the Roman Pope. The Great Schism of 1054 was a dramatic event with reciprocal excommunications but there was still contact and some reconciliations between the two sides.

Circa 600AD, the Arab Muslims attacked the Roman Empire and began a war that lasts to this day. Many Eastern Christians blamed the West for not defending them adequately. Constantinople fell to the Muslims in 1453 and the East-West split became permanent as the Eastern Churches fell under Muslim domination and the Muslims cleverly fostered the division.

The largest Eastern Orthodox church, by far, is the Russian Orthodox, always closely aligned with the Russian government. Theological differences between Catholic and Orthodox are trivial compared to the political.

Various Eastern Christian churches remained in or returned to communion with Rome. These are the Eastern Catholic Churches. Recent popes have indicated that reunion with the East is their greatest hope.

Well, with due respect, Consantine, after reading enough threads on the Eastern Forum about this topic and many other Catholic dogmas, I’d have to say that what you present here is simply not true.

@ OP, many of Constatine’s claims are very much contradicted by other Eastern Catholics. Just go to the Eastern Catholic Forum and read through the thread currently going on about Marian beliefs East and West(forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=625161) to get the input of other Eastern Catholics on the dogma of the IC, or read through other threads on the role of the Pope and other Catholic dogmas in Eastern Catholicism. What Constantine presents is Eastern Orthodox opinions, not Eastern Catholic and even more importantly not Latin (Roman) Catholic- his comparison between them is always influenced by serious misrepresentation (not necessarily intended) of Roman (Latin/Western) Catholicism as understood by the Orthodox he reads and listens to*(who don’t understand Roman Catholic beliefs, to say the least).* He sees no difference between E.Orth and E.Cath, even though E.Cath are in communion with Rome and do accept Catholic dogmas. So listen to him if you want to know what many Eastern Orthodox think (not all of them think that, by the way), but go to the Eastern forum here at CAF for Eastern Catholic beliefs about Catholic dogmas. That’s my advice.

I would suggest you should listen to the entire conversation and then ask more questions to the new that arrise.

As we see listening to CTG has already arrived at a vague assertion. Honesty at this point Wiki-Pedia might not be a bad start either. Its non bias and a quick reference point to direct, often lacking facts but it is a source.

From personal experience just recently as a matter of fact there are a lot of differences. The Orthodox use leaven bread for the Eucharist, you are served Eucharist (both species) in a spoon.

They still are ruled by an Ecumentical Council ans see The Pope as a Bishop of equal.

Their priests are permitted to marry before ordination.

Their view on purgatory is different.

They do not pray the Rosary.

I almost left the Roman Catholic Church for the Orthodox. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t a part of the broken away, i.e. Protestant Reformation. I even attended a service, while it is 90% God and 10% you as it should be, it was still very different.

They believe in immersion only for baptism and must be immersed 3x in the name of the Trinity for baptism to be valid.

At first glimpse you would believe the reason the Rome broke away was due to ego trip of the Bishop of Rome.

There is also the matter of the Filoque. Where the Orthodox say in the Nicene Creed that that Holy Spirit only descended from the Father, Where as the Catholic say from the Father and the Son.

When I asked how long did Rome see themselves as Pope (leader) of the Church before the Church decided to excommunicate, so to speak, I was told the Church never accepted Rome as leader it was just that the Bishop was right for a thousand years.

Not trying to sway you in either direction, I had to make the journey for myself. Just remember there is always more to a book than its cover. Good luck on your journey for truth.

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