Is there a good reason to be Eastern Catholic instead of Eastern Orthodox?
Well the main thing is that Eastern Catholics keep most of the traditions of the Eastern Orthodox, but unlike the Orthodox they accept the primacy of the Holy See.
If you believe the Catholic Church is the one Church professed in the Creed, then Eastern Catholicism should be chosen instead of Eastern Orthodoxy (and vice versa). That’s really the only reason that matters.
Both an Eastern Catholic tradition and its Orthodox counterpart will have basically the same traditions and liturgy, even similar theological approaches and the same saints.
Both have valid sacraments. Both have the Eucharist.
Both maintain the early Faith of the Church, especially as expressed in the Church Fathers and early councils.
The chief difference: Be Catholic if you accept that Rome, via Peter’ successor, is head of the Church. If you do not accept this, then become Orthodox.
Communion with Rome should be the only difference between Byzantine Catholic and Eastern Orthodox although I have seen two types of Byzantine Catholics: 1) those who truly see themselves as Orthodox in communion with Rome and 2) Roman Catholics who prefer to attend the Divine Liturgy.
Eastern Catholics keep the same traditions as the Eastern Orthodox with the exception of being in communion with Rome.
Right that’s what I meant
Agreed. I think that we’re supposed to be Orthodox in Communion with Rome. The reality, however, can be very different.
You’re right! For the last hundred years at least we have been asked by Rome to hold on to our ecclesiastical heritage. There are parishes that should be an inspiration to us Byzantine Catholics, like Saint George Melkite-Greek Catholic Church in Sacramento. They have a wonderful pastor who preaches and teaches the Orthodox faith in communion with Rome (he’s also founder of the Institute of Catholic Culture).
I think most Melkite parishes are of the Orthodox in communion with Rome variety. In some cases they may be more Orthodox than the Orthodox lol! Some of the other EC Churches are pretty latinized and continue to attract disgruntled Latins who , IMO bring with them a very legalistic, western mindset.
If I was Eastern Catholic I’d consider myself an Eastern extension of the Catholic Church, as the Eastern Orthodox Church is an entirely separate Church with separate teachings. I don’t see how one could be Orthodox in communion with Rome
What is the case of the Catholic Church being the one professed in the creed.
So you do not think that their fasting rules are weaker ?
Yes, but Catholic is not synonymous with Roman Catholic. The opening statement from the document Orientalium Ecclesiarium says “The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church.”
(1) Leo XIII, Litt. Ap. Orientalium dignitas, 30 nov. 1894, in Leonis XIII Acta, vol. XIV, pp. 201-202.
Who’s fasting rules? Rome?
The fasting rules of the Byzantine Catholic Church are weaker than those of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The fasting rules for both the various EC and EO are all over the board.
Mine (Pittsburgh) are “the fasting wimps of Eastern Christianity” , and not much stricter than the RCC.
The Melkites, on the other hand . . .
Yes, and not all the Orthodox jurisdictions hold the same either (especially here in the US). I’ve seen huge pot lucks during Nativity fast complete with donuts at the local OCA church. Now, granted, there was a baptism that day but it just goes to show that they flex the Fast and don’t seem to be as rigid. The local Greek Orthodox church has their Greek fest during the Apostle’s Fast, and they serve all sorts of meats etc. Now ROCOR on the other hand…lol!
If you want to be in full communion with the rest of the Catholic Church then one could be Eastern Catholic. The Eastern Orthodox are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
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