Which is the first/original church: The Greek Orthodox Church or Roman Catholic Church?

My coworker, who is an Orthodox Christian, insists that the Orthodox Church is the first, original, true Christian church, and NOT the Roman Catholic Church. She strongly believes that the Roman Catholics broke away from the Orthodox Church, followed by the Protestants. Where is the source of her claim? Is there an objective, non-biased, reputable, source of information that either proves or disproves her argument? Thanks!

Your friend is incorrect that the first and original Christian Church was Eastern Orthodox (EO). Even most EO would disagree with that claim. The EO and the Catholic Church were one Church, at least until 1054 at the time of the Great Schism. So both the EO and Catholic Church at the time they were undivided were the original and true Church.

The split between the Churches originated (or so the argument goes) from the use by the Roman Church of the filioque (proceeds from the Father and the Son) in the Nicene Creed. There were also issues over the prerogatives of the Pope of Rome versus the See of Constantinople, but these were primarily political and only manifested themselves much later on in Church history as true theological differences.

As far as reputable sources, it is difficult one way or the other to cite to any source that will be deemed “non-biased” by your friend, and vice versa for that matter. CA has a good article here Eastern Orthodoxy that will give you the traditional Roman Catholic position.

Keep in mind, the EO are considered true Churches by the Catholic Church, although not in perfect communion. EO, if properly disposed, can receive the Eucharistic in the Catholic Church under certain conditions. Furthermore, there are 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches that are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

I suggest you visit the Eastern Catholic forum here on CA if you want to learn more.

Short answer - no. Because the only people who care enough to write about it are on one side or the other.

Slightly longer answer - both the Catholic and Orthodox churches are the same “age.” Both have valid Apostolic succession, both have their origins at Pentecost. In fact, in recent years, Catholics have regarded the Orthodox communions quite differently from “our separated brethren” - Pope John Paul II used the metaphor of a pair of lungs to describe the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church. And Pope Francis has continued the communications that Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict had begun with the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and there is very real reason to hope that the divisions of the end of the first millennium may be healed!

Truth to tell, the division of the Church in 1054 had as much to do with politics as it did with theologies (as is also true of the divisions of the Reformation) and who split from whom looks differently depending on where were sitting at the time. Patriarch and Pope traded anathemae and those have now been mutually lifted. Let us pray for the restoration of the unity that the Lord Jesus prayed for at the Last Supper!

Sally

The Coptic Orthodox Church was founded in the early 40’s by Mark and Rome came later by Peter. So technically your co-worker is correct.

However, instead of avoiding the truth and assuming it must be uncomfortable; you can simply say it doesn’t really matter. Because it really doesn’t.

Or you could say, the See of Peter was established in 33 by Peter at Pentecost and moved with him as he moved, till he died. Since that was in Rome, the see of Peter has, for he most part, been located in Rome. Presently it has been moved to Vatican City, but could be moved again at the needs of the Pope (the present occupant of the see of Peter)

timwatt #1
My coworker, who is an Orthodox Christian, insists that the Orthodox Church is the first, original, true Christian church, and NOT the Roman Catholic Church. She strongly believes that the Roman Catholics broke away from the Orthodox Church, followed by the Protestants. Where is the source of her claim? Is there an objective, non-biased, reputable, source of information that either proves or disproves her argument? Thanks!

To whom did Christ give His authority to teach, rule and sanctify?

It is crystal clear from Scripture that Jesus established His Church on His First Vicar Peter.
All four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve].

Sole authority:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).
Jesus warned dissenters: “if he refuses to hear even the Church let him be like the heathen and a publican.” (Mt 18:17).

St. Paul says also, “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10).” The Church teaches even the angels! This is with the authority of Christ!

Christ’s Church that teaches the angels is denigrated – a type described by Christ as a “heathen and a publican” for not listening to Christ’s Church.

The Church was ONE in East and West under the Popes until the brazen disregard for Christ’s established papal authority at Trullo.

The Ancient Tradition of Clerical Celibacy
by Mary R. Schneider
Ignatius Press

“The Holy See, which was not represented at The Council of Trullo (691-92), angrily refused to recognize its authority, especially its brazen claim that it was an ecumenical council whose canons were binding upon the whole Church. Naturally, Rome rejected Trullo’s canons on clerical marriage, which deviated so clearly from a tradition of clerical chastity that had long been observed in both the East and West.”

785. I know very little about Eastern Rite Churches separated from Rome and would like to know at least something of them.
The Catholic Church has to conduct her ecumenical activities on two fronts, one with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the other with the various Protestant Churches of Western Christendom. Normally, English-speaking Catholics are more in contact with the latter and correspondingly unfamiliar with Eastern Orthodoxy. The first thing to be noted is that not all Eastern Rite Churches are separated from Rome. There are about twenty groups of Eastern Orthodox Churches existing as national Churches in a state of separation from Rome and independently of one another as regards authority or jurisdiction. So we have the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Syrian, or Russian, or Rumanian, or Bulgarian, etc. As contrasted with these twenty separated groups, there are nine or ten different Eastern Rite Churches which are in union with Rome, acknowledging Papal Supremacy. These are popularly spoken of as the “Uniate Eastern Churches” and members of them are recognised by the Pope as Catholics every bit as much as Western or Latin Rite members of the Catholic Church.
radioreplies.info/radio-replies-vol-5.php?t=15&n=787

Since they have a common, united origin, the correct answer is both. I see any other answer as meaningless argumentation.

What does the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicaea in AD325 say? Look at Canon 6:
The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved.
Why is there mention of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, but no mention of Constantinople, the leading bishop of the Eastern Orthodox? Answer: Because there wasn’t a Patriarch of Constantinople at the time; he didn’t exist yet (i.e. in AD325). For help interpreting Canon 6, read this article to see why it plainly teaches the Papacy.

Every Ecumenical Council starting with the first supported the Papacy:
unamsanctamcatholicam.com/history/historical-apologetics/79-history/98-papal-primacy-in-the-first-councils.html

Exactly :thumbsup:

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