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What Are Some Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church?

An Eastern Orthodox church.
Catholic churches are usually adorned with statues instead of the icons favored by Eastern Orthodox churches.
Catholic priests may not marry, while Eastern Orthodox priests may marry before being ordained.
Vatican City is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches use different bread for the Eucharist.
Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic religions differ somewhat on original sin.
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Sometime around the fourth century CE, Christianity was widely considered to be concentrated in five primary centers: Alexandria, which is now Egypt; Antioch, which is now Turkey; Constantinople, which is now Istanbul; Jerusalem; and Rome. As Islam grew and competed with some of the these centers, Rome and Constantinople became the main Christian centers and, for political, cultural, linguistic and religious reasons, the powers in Rome and Constantinople formally separated in 1054 CE. Those in Constantinople formed the Eastern Orthodox Church, and those in Rome led the Roman Catholic Church. As a result of this separation, which is also referred to as the Great Schism or East-West Schism, there are some differences between the two churches. Some of the main ones are their views of the Pope, the languages used during their services, their beliefs regarding original sin.

The Pope

One difference between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics has to do with the recognition of the Pope. Roman Catholics recognize the Pope as infallible in matters of doctrine. Moreover, the Pope has supreme authority over all churches and can, for example, contradict or usurp the power of a lower-ranking church leader, such as a priest, bishop or cardinal. The Eastern Orthodox Church also has various bishops, with one being the highest-ranking bishop. Its highest-ranking bishop, or archbishop, is not considered to be infallible, however, nor does he have supreme authority over all of its congregations.

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As people-centered forms of government have become more common, papal authority has extended far less than it previously did. A modern Pope might still advise leaders of countries but has no power to make them act. The governments of predominantly Catholic countries are rarely influenced by the Pope alone and might govern in a way that is not in harmony with the Roman Catholic Church's teachings.

The Pope has supreme authority over the Roman Catholic church.

Language of Church Services

Another difference between the churches that was notable until the mid-20th century was that Roman Catholic services were conducted in Latin, rather than in the predominant languages of the areas where the services were being held. The Eastern Orthodox Church conducted services in native languages from its onset. Since the mid-1960s, however, Roman Catholic services often have been conducted in native languages. Members of Opus Dei, a section within the Roman Catholic Church, have continued to hold services in Latin.

The city of Kiev played a major role in the development of Eastern Orthodox culture.

Original Sin

Many complex dogmatic distinctions also have arisen since the churches separated. One is the concept of original sin, which the churches teach as having its roots in Adam's sins in the Garden of Eden. Both churches believe in the concept of original sin, but they hold it to have different consequences. Still, both hold baptism as the way to cleanse the soul of sin.

The churches diverge in how original sin applies to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Catholics believe that Mary born free of original sin and thus was the appropriate vessel for the Son of God. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that Mary was cleansed of original sin when Jesus took form in her.

Other Differences

A few minor differences also can be noted:

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Schultzz
Post 103

In my opinion, humble or otherwise, a day is approaching when the Orthodox religion will once again be united with the Roman Catholic Church.

After a great chastisement for the entire world, a new Pope will be named by Saint Peter who will come down from heaven to choose this new pope. The Orthodox religion has many outstanding qualities and traditions, many of which will become part of the new Church. The center of this Church may end up being in Constantinople. The Gregorian calendar may become the standard.

The new Pope will rule, but may not have the designation of "infallible when professing doctrine.” The Blessed Mother of Jesus will also be known as "The Immaculate Conception". I am not sure about "original sin," but all will agree on whatever is decided.

After this chastisement, which will arrive much sooner than many think, a new era of peace and brotherly love will ensue. This chastisement, which has been predicted by many saints, is the Third Secret of Fatima, and the Three Days Darkness, prophesied by Padre Pio and many others, and is also supported by Scripture.

Almost the entire world population (what will be left of it), will convert to Catholicism, including China and Russia, because they want to, not because of any other reason. About three-fourths of the current population will die. Before this will occur, a warning will be given which will be a great sign which everyone will be able to witness.

You can criticize all you want, but you will not have to wait long to determine whether my statement is true or false because it will happen soon. Prepare your souls. Repent while there is still time. This will not be the end of the world (for many it will be the end of their lives), but life will continue for a time of peace and happiness before the final days come upon the earth. I am not a seer but I believe that there is much truth in what I say. Thank you for reading this. Peace and goodness to all.

anon961292
Post 102

@anon250051: I'm Roman, but I agree with you in a lot of points.

Anyway, we should unite! It is not normal to be separated! East Coast and West Coast together!

anon342289
Post 101

As a child I was led to believe that if you were not a good Greek Orthodox Christian, you were doomed to spend eternity in unimaginable torment burning in the Devil Satan's domain, the pit of hell. End of story.

anon330831
Post 100

One big difference is the pope. But "pope" is only his nickname. His official title is Bishop of Rome.

An error of the EO Church is them thinking that Peter was First among Equals. No. Jesus gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter and Peter only. Also, how can you equate Thomas (who doubted Jesus' resurrection) with Peter?

anon330636
Post 99

The Catholics don't worship statues. The statues represent Jesus dying on the cross or immaculate Mary.

anon299855
Post 97

It is not the pope who told them to kill those people, but the officials in the government. The church doesn't take lives. They preserve life. Read more, my friend and open your eyes and mind.

anon289173
Post 96

GS -- If you are interested in understanding the Orthodox Christian perspective, I would invite you to listen to Father Andrew's two-part lecture on the major differences between the Roman Catholic Church (at least, mostly the Latin-rite Catholic tradition) and the Orthodox Church. His podcast is online.

anon289172
Post 95

Please allow me to make two comments:

1. Regarding the article bullet point that "Catholic priests cannot be married, but Eastern Orthodox priests can be married before ordination."

This is not completely accurate. For instance, all but one of the Eastern Catholic rites allow married men to become priests. Similarly, there are some Latin-rite Catholic men who were validly ordained priests in another Christian community before being received into the Latin rite of the Catholic Church. These, too, may be given full priestly faculties upon special consideration by Rome. A couple of examples of married Latin-rite Catholic priests include: Fr. Scott Caton of the Diocese of Rochester, NY and Fr. Ray Ryland.

2. @Richard: Yes. The Eastern Catholic rites are in full communion with Rome. Any Catholic of any rite can worship and take part in the liturgical life of any of the other rites. My husband is a Maronite Catholic and I am a Melkite Catholic. We were married according to the Maronite Rite of Crowning (think: "My Big Fat Lebanese Wedding!") and throughout our marriage, we have attended various parishes, both Western and Eastern Catholic parishes. I hope this helps.

God bless. --J

anon269212
Post 93

My answer to anon227963. Your interpretation in Matthew 16:13 is very wrong because the whole theme of our Lord here is about the question on what is his (Peter's) belief about Christ and not about building a religion or a specific church. So it is all about Peter's confession of Christ as the messiah and not about being the head of the church. That's why Jesus said after Peter confesses Christ as the messiah, He said "Blessed art thou Peter son of Jonah."

But try to look at verse 23 of the same chapter when Peter denied His saving mission. Jesus said, "Get thee behind me Satan." You never noticed why He called Peter Satan? You only see the praise in verse 13 and not the rebuke in verse 23?

anon250051
Post 91

If the Pope is oh-so-kind why did he (some of them) killed hundreds of Muslims, protestants and innocent people?

Why do Roman Catholics pray to statues? The orthodox church uses icons as an artistic way of describing a holy event, like the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But they don't worship them like praying to them and devoting themselves to it, unlike Roman Catholics. They pray to statues, ad wipe them with their handkerchiefs.

Mary, the saints and angels are not to be worshiped! The Catholics pray to them via statues and that is very un-biblical. You must worship God alone! Forget all those Hyperdulia and dulia; just worship God fully with your faith.

Mary is the mother of Christ as a human. He respects her, but like all humans, she has sins too. No man in this world is without sins.

Now some of you said that if Mary had sins, then wouldn't Jesus also have sins? Actually, the answer is no, because Jesus is holy, divine and pure. He was born both human and divine, clean and pure, without any sin.

I respect Mary, but the Roman Catholics are mad! They are madly devoted to Mary. Mary herself said that she is only a servant of God, like us. She is a human too, like us!

She served God, so why we must devote ourselves to her? I think we should just respect her for what she has done.

Now, on priests, we mustn't repent with priests. The Roman Catholics are wrong here. We can ask God's forgiveness directly and after that, we can ask priests for help to empower us to continue life and I see that in the eastern orthodox church.

Priests can marry too, because love is powerful! We can't stop love, so why ban marriage for the priests, if they are deeply in love with someone?

Oh and by the way, why does the roman catholic church refuse to accept the third sex?

I mean yeah, it is based on scriptures that there are only two genders, male and female.

But the Roman Catholics hurt the homosexuals emotionally and physically and God can accept anything, whoever you are, even if you're gay or lesbian or poor or rich. No matter what happens, God is the only perfect one, not us, so please Roman Catholics, wake up!

anon237382
Post 90

Also in reference to the "rock", if you read the Bible in the original Greek, it is in feminine form, which means it is not referring to Peter. Otherwise, it would have been Petros, not Petra.

anon237381
Post 89

If the pope is infallible in matters of doctrine then why did they have mistresses in the past or did nothing in terms of child abuse? It is absurd to think that a man is infallible even if you twist the words to saying in doctrine.

It is absurd to believe that a man represents Jesus and God on earth without over stepping the line between idolatry and Christianity. It is absurd that people believe the bishop of Rome is above all other bishops, when St. Peter was also bishop of Antioch, when the first Bishop was the Apostle James of Jerusalem, when there is no mention of St. Peter ever having been in Rome, let alone being martyred there. Or how about the fact there were many bishops serving in Rome before it was said Peter entered Rome?

It would have been better for the Roman Catholic Church to claim that the Apostle Paul was its first bishop, for we do know that he went to Rome and was martyred and unlike the other Apostles, he was the only one who was not married. Cheers.

anon227963
Post 88

I'd like to get the facts between the two churches clear without my personal beliefs sneaking into the argument, like I see here in many postings.

1) The Pope is infallible.

Even most Catholics, never mind Orthodox, understand this incorrectly. The Roman church states that the Pope is infallible in doctrine, therefore the decisions concerning church matters, *not* that the Pope cannot sin.

In the early years of the church, when the four eastern churches were separated on a certain doctrine, they would go to the Bishop of Rome and "the great Papa's" final decision became law. The Orthodox church often refers to this as "first among equals". During the eighth century, Eastern churches made the worship of icons unlawful until the Roman Pope interceded. (In fact, this Pope is still worshiped as a saint in the Orthodox Church (his feast day is in early Feb.). This was never a problem until the Roman Pope started to make decisions without conferring with the other four churches (ecumenical councils), causing discord between The Pope and the other four Eastern Churches.

It wasn't until the 19th century (long after the schism of 1054) that the Pope's infallibility became official doctrine in The Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church finds evidence of this in the Bible with the First Bishop of Rome, The Apostle Peter. In Matthew 16:13, when Christ asked the Twelve Disciples "Who do you say I am?", "Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven".

That's a hard one for my Eastern Orthodox Brothers to ignore, especially because it come out of Jesus' direct teaching. Let's all pray that someday the two churches will again be one and honor Christ last prayer, that they "not fight among themselves". Amen

anon220517
Post 87

my response to anon217553! Well if we just believe in apparitions as a proof of a holy person's works and wants, then Buddha also and many hindu gods also had apparitions! If we believe that it is really Mary, then it must not contradict the written word or the scriptures. Remember that a demon could disguise himself to be anybody else. The bible is clear about this that, "if anyone an angel or any person who preach another gospel than the one we preach! let him/her be accursed".

anon217553
Post 86

Well ironically, as a Catholic, we do honor her maybe a little too much at times, but the protestants only seem to see the bible. Maybe we are the only church that believes in the Marian apparitions.

If you do believe in them, then from her own mouth the Blessed Mother said "I am the Immaculate Conception." So if you wish to defy the Mother and Heaven, be my guest.

Secondly, Mary has become more popular due to events such as Fatima. Catholics have and will always see the Eastern Orthodox Church as our second half, but they seem to see the Roman Catholic Church as almost heretics. Before any other Protestant posts about us or them, please keep in mind we are so completely different.

anon217041
Post 85

Firstly, I want to correct the general article about eastern orthodoxy where it says the eastern orthodox church believes that Mary was born with original sin. The eastern orthodox church believes that Mary was born with original sin she inherited from Adam, but her sin was lifted through the intercession of the Holy Spirit at birth. I want to underline this is "as far as I know" since I am not the most confident person to talk about it.

Secondly, I want to say that the orthodox creed was accepted by seven ecumenical councils. Can anyone in the Roman Catholic Church say that their creed is accepted by seven ecumenical councils? As long as the Pope has added the bit: "Holy Spirit comes from father and from son" while the original creed says it comes from father. So, how can they call themselves as apostolic of the original church if they have changed the creed which was accepted by seven ecumenical councils of the whole christian world?

Thirdly I want to refer to uniting those two churches. Well, someone might say that God did not want his church to split and fell apart but nowadays, in my opinion, there is a big danger in uniting as well. There are differences that cannot be ignored. Someone might say that we have a lot more in common then differences between us, but my answer would be that there can be only one truth. If I write a little lie in the book of the truth, I think that little lie would make it a book of lies. So small differences do matter when we talk about the truth. The catholic church is " richer" and has more political influence nowadays, and I do not think they will just cancel their faith and switch to orthodox, and orthodox will disagree to make a compromise which would change their creed or belief.

Let's say the RCC canceled all differences that were made after separation, but the pope will claim to be leader of the united church since, economically, the RCC is probably world's richest church nowadays. So, how will the new Pope who will not be experienced in the orthodox tradition, going to lead such a united church? Don't you see danger of misleading? This is why, in my opinion, it's better if they stay how they are for now and let people decide what they want by giving them correct information.

I also think that the eastern orthodox church is the Achilles heel for the RCC since it is the only one church they can't call out " they are not apostolic" while the RCC herself has made changes because of what everything has started. Basically, I think this kind of unity contains the danger of losing an orthodox churchm since they are a lot smaller nowadays compared to RCC.

I want to admit that this is just my personal opinion and others may agree or disagree with it.

anon197670
Post 84

How can we ever united when each one of us is claiming to be true church, or claiming to be superior to each other? We are separated because of traditions and culture and human manipulations and not because of the one infallible word or God's constitution the Bible, our divisions are all human and that's our nature.

But the true church is not created by men, but unified in faith and mission and that is our mission to preach the good news of salvation, the good news of love and charity, the good news of God' grace and promise of eternity. For there we are all united and pride diminished!

God must be lifted up and Jesus must be lifted up, and not anybody else, nor any country, nor language nor race, nor organizations nor Church episcopacy nor even established churches. Only Christ be glorified. Soli Christus.

anon175250
Post 83

Is it heresy to say God has a spouse? That's the greatest heresy I ever heard! I think you don't know and never read the Bible.

anon175154
Post 82

@anon169842: You don't know what you're talking about. First of all, the Reform churches don't hate Mary. We love and respect her as the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we don't worship her or whatever you call (veneration is still the same), for worship is only due to God alone.

We respect her by listening to her words that were written in the Bible in which the only source of true doctrine and not the traditions of men that changes from culture to culture, from generations to generations.

What Mary said was "We need listen to Jesus" and that's what we're doing now. If you don't know about something, don't say words that are not true. Instead, give time to study the scripture and even search history for in there you can find the answer and know about the truth!

anon175151
Post 81

@anon169842: May I correct you! this topic is all about the differences between orthodox and catholic and it's not about protestants!

First of all, do not say Protestants are heretics, because the meaning of heresies depends upon what denomination you are in. For Orthodox, Catholics are heretical. Same with the catholics to the orthodox.

Protestants are believers in Sola Scriptura, which means they believe only the scripture and do not rely on oral traditions that change over time in which catholics and orthodox believed.

If Protestants are heretics, then the Bible is the book of heresy. The term protestant was used by catholics to call on the Christians who asked for church reforms that the catholics were guilty of. The history of catholicsm is guilty of human manipulations and the Puritans and reform Christians were fighting for freedom and manipulations from the church.

We have democracy because of the Puritans while, until now, the catholic church still continues manipulations in government.

anon169842
Post 80

Jesus started the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church. The Catholic eastern and western churches have that in common. Men started all the other heresies, protestantism, for example. What does "protest-ant" mean? To protest! Protest what? The Catholic church!

Jesus wanted to be worshipped a certain way, but man wanted to decide for himself. Heresies have been popping up against The Church since the very beginning. St. Paul said in Ephesians, "There is One Body and One Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." How could there be "oneness" with some 250,000 protestant denominations alone? There can't be. The protestant church didn't pop up until the 1500's!

Jesus said, "How I wish you were one in Me, as I am with the Father, and He is with me." We can only be "one" if we are united. Catholic means "universal". There are different functions in "one body", as someone mentioned earlier, because some were meant to be priests, some deacons, etc. In 1st Corinthians 1:10, St. Paul says, "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you may be united in the same mind and same judgement."

One thing I find disturbing is that protestants claim to love Jesus, yet hate the woman who gave him the human flesh he carries, (since she's the only human being involved in His birth, He obviously got His human DNA from her) he carries her DNA, and resided in her! How can you not love the blessed mother! She was the spouse of The Holy Spirit!

Protestants: The Holy Spirit is God, too! You cannot love Jesus without honoring the human being who was chosen by God to carry him! No human has ever been holy enough to carry God, but Mary! As spouse of God, and mother of The King of kings, she is queen of heaven! Eastern and western Catholics must be as united as possible. We have the one true faith. I can say for the Roman Catholic church: we can trace every pope back to Peter himself. We have that lineage. We are blessed!

anon169486
Post 79

I have been raised as a protestant, but I believe all denominations have been influenced by their cultures. For example, Roman catholics have statues and orthodox have icons. The apostles were quite clear about not being gods to be worshipped or bowed down to.

God was quite clear about graven images. Graven images (statues) resulted from Roman culture not religion. That is why I believe in relying on the Bible for answers. If you are not sure about something, read the Bible for the answer. If tradition and the Bible give a different answer, read Mark 7 where Jesus addresses "the traditions of men." The "traditions of men" should never trump the "Word of God."

anon168831
Post 78

I believe Eastern Orthodox Church is more accurate than the Roman Catholic Church in terms of traditions history and doctrines.

anon159729
Post 77

I am a Roman Catholic. Just recently I met a Ethiopian friend (Alemu) who shared to me some basic but interesting information about Christian Orthodox. Is it possible for me to attend your masses and other religious rites? not much for curiosity but to explore a new, meaningful faith experience. beda/Philippines

anon158869
Post 76

Lots of wrong and misleading information made to confuse and keep us apart. This business of the pope being infallible is not true. He is infallible in matters of faith -- in Peter's chair.

Many historians are now agreeing that the Bishop of Rome always had a special place in the "one church". a first among equals. As time passes, both East and West Churches are realizing that many differences and traditions are results of being apart for so long. To say one is right and one is wrong is unchristian and untrue. Many awakenings happened in the western church that couldn't happen in the East (due to the Turks then later, the communists). I've heard many Orthodox christians talk about traditions and not changing. Then they say that if the pope helped them fight off the Turks, they could have enjoyed a renaissance too.

So what is it? We hear about the sacking of Constantinople by Western crusaders, then about the massacre of the Latins by the Greeks. Back and forth we go.

It's so obvious that we need each other, yet we can't get over our pride. The differences are minor and "one church" would be a force unstoppable. We could recite that creed a million times but the bottom line is the churches that were "one" are not now together. No one church can claim to be "one." They need each other!

There is a lot of confusion because Rome today usually means the pope. Yesterday, Rome was Constantinople because the empire had crumbled in the west. Many words get thrown around like Rome-Peter-Infallible-Greek-Latin. Things have changed and many things happened in the east and west that caused the church to be the way it is today.

Many historians agree that the turks influenced the patriarchs in the East and they had to hate the west (they allowed christianity but they made sure the patriarchs were on a leash). Then Communism dealt a blow to christianity. Yes, later, the communists saw that the church in the West was strong, so they looked to increase the heat between churches. Hate and suspicion towards the west were a good way to keep Christianity weak. That is why many Orthodox Christians hate the Roman Catholics more than the other way around.

Everything anti-Catholic or anti-Orthodox hurts Christianity. Christianity is the only wrench in the gear for Islam, atheism or paganism to spread. Think about it: Go after the jews and the foundation crumbles. Divide and conquer doesn't work. That doesn't work and makes us look silly. Then we will have the worst human beings known to man become church people and make christianity look really bad.

The devil knows his game. Do we know it? Or, are we too smart to believe he exists- that's one hell of a trick he plays. Do you really believe that the devil isn't going to put up a fight? That everything evil is labeled or doesn't exist.

The world is changing and we christians better bring our A game, because we are being assaulted on all sides.

Back to my point. Many Eastern Bishops say that Roman Catholics are too optimistic in reuniting the churches. They are having too many troubles among themselves in the east to be thinking of uniting with Rome. No church, East or West, is "one." It can't be. If that creed is legitimate, the churches sitting at the table when it was hammered down, are not together now period.

By the way, I'm a Catholic and my wife is Orthodox. We go and celebrate each other's mass always. No conversion was needed for us to be married and our priests know us both and give us communion and blessings.

anon156562
Post 75

To unite the two churches the Pope must admit it is not him who is the head and infallible. He must declare Jesus is the real head of the church and not himself nor Peter. He must be equal among the other Patriarchs as the orthodox confess and believe! as the early church did. Jesus must be lifted up -- not any of the Bishops! Is it simple? As simple as that.

anon155715
Post 74

it is not religion that saves. it is faith.

anon151930
Post 73

As a roman catholic, I believe that the two churches must reunite. Some of their beliefs are the same so why don't they talk about it so that they can fix things out. If the churches will reunite all Catholics will have one belief and they don't have to be converted to another if they want to get married or something.

anon147885
Post 72

I don't really understand the bible, so i try to stick to what Jesus said. it seams clear about peter being the rock, but in the first part of revelation john addresses the seven churches in the province of Asia. can anyone explain this to me?

anon141301
Post 67

Excuses are different from reality. Roman Catholics always had excuses for their practices. But in reality, paganism and Roman and Greek myth practices still exist. Same with the Greek orthodox iconolaters.

anon141295
Post 66

I believe those churches will never unite. The reasons are: 1.) RC pride of supremacy 2.) Being human. It's normal that we have all differences 3.) Jesus himself said that we have different functions in one body.

For us to unite we must all be selfless and lift only Jesus as the real infallible and return to the basic doctrine of Christianity. Love and turn away from false practices and doctrines.

Let us return to the scriptures for it is the only source of real unity. We must believe in sola scriptura!

anon140670
Post 65

I am a college student from the Philippines and I have Studied all my life in a Catholic school. From what I have been taught, though I am not well versed in all the technical stuff posted above, Mary is not worshiped nor is she more holy than Jesus Christ.

Mary is given the honor of Hyperdulia, a much higher form of respect and honor than Dulia which is for the other Saints. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is given Latria, which is reserved only for God.

Priests must take their oath of celibacy in order to fulfill their duties and responsibilities more effectively. If a priest would have a family of his own it could and would be a cause of distraction for him to accomplish his work. The Roman Catholic Church is flawed as all religion is flawed but this is because man is flawed -- all of us.

I may not be a theologian and a I may not be a Doctor of the Church but the one thing I know is that both churches must unite. The church is a family and if a family member is sick you would not leave him or her? right? you would help him or her to get well again.

All in all, I do not dishonor or despise the Greek Orthodox church, but I am sticking to what I hold as the the true Catholic Church of God.

anon140571
Post 64

My mother grew up Russian Orthodox, and I did not. She luckily found the restored Gospel when I was a young child. But, as I am researching my roots, I am fascinated by the truths within the Orthodox Church. It is obvious to me that the RC church is erroneous in its claim as Peter being a Pope. There is no mention of a pope in the Bible; it was merely a political position.

I am not Catholic, obviously, but I did have my daughter attend a Catholic grade school for a couple of years because it was the only choice for a quality education at the time. We also thought it was a good experience for her to be exposed to other religious views than those she was taught at home.

The one thing that stands out from her 90 mins/week of catechism is that Catholics revere Mary as more holy than Christ himself. That is heresy.

Christ is the Son of God, the only begotten, The Lord and Savior of the World, whether you believe it or not. He died for you and me so that we might have eternal life.

anon136896
Post 62

I was to convert, then the holy spirit guided me! I wish both churches to unite, I pray for all faiths and peace on earth. I believe that the Latin mass in RC is very spiritual. As are the Orthodox mass. Let us all pray for humanity to grow closer to Christ.

anon130328
Post 61

I was raised in the RCC but am now converting to the Orthodox church. Why? Because when I went to my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was right. Catholic Mass is beautiful but it doesn't go far enough.

Sorry for simplistic terms but I'll put it in a way I know people will understand. To me, RCC is like the sweetheart who gives you the friendly peck on the cheek. Orthodoxy is like the lover who takes you fully in their arms and leaves a kiss so strong it leaves you breathless but wanting more.

anon127974
Post 60

I am not a Catholic nor an Orthodox but I believe Christianity begins in Jerusalem which is a Greek Orthodox dominion. And Constantinople is the center of Christianity in early and middle ages. Constantine transfer the capital from Rome to Constantinople.

The five Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria made a church council to define the basic beliefs of Christians like the council of nicea, constantinople, chalcedon etc. and then one day the pope declares himself the prime head of the church declares himself infallible. Its all politics men.

The true head of the Christian church is Christ himself and not the Pope of Rome.

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, pardons, worshiping and Adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

The pope of Rome added doctrines that are not part of the early church councils, of the "one universal and apostolic church," not a roman catholic church.

rc2123
Post 59

I would like to give my opinion. But before I do that I'll introduce myself. I'm Korean and I was born a Christian, Methodist to be exact. My great-great grandfather was apparently the first Korean elder and this proves the deep root of Christianity in my family. Although I was born a methodist, I am currently attending a presbyterian church called Onnuri.

Christianity is about faith. In other words, Christianity is about believing that our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, and that he came down to Earth to redeem us from our sins.

There are different sects within Christianity: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. And within these sects there are more smaller sects each with a different type of view.

However, I would like to strongly urge that the interpretation of the bible is something that can be flexible. Christianity is an old religion; therefore, there are different rituals and different traditions.

We must not criticize what is right and what is wrong about these practices unless it is all out of the right heart. We must be faithful followers of the book, which clearly states that Jesus is the Son of God.

And I personally believe that it doesn't matter if you are Jewish, Muslim, or Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox. (There are some Jewish people and Muslims that believe Jesus is the Son of God, at great risk). I believe that all that matters is our faith in Jesus our Lord and that he is the Son of God.

anon119141
Post 57

The main article says that Eastern Orthodox Churches "often have icons." It should have been stated that all Eastern Orthodox Church always have icons! Icons are fundamental to Orthodoxy as they are equal to scripture, and one cannot be an Orthodox Christina without Icons (Seventh Ecumenical Council). This is very, very different from the use of images and statues in the western church. Icons are not devotional, but theological.

anon116456
Post 56

what about the sacraments? I'm doing a compare and contrast paper and i need a little help.

anon114499
Post 55

I am an agnostic atheist. Strange, isn't it?

Anyway, not sure why I'm posting, but I feel that every faith is equal. If there is tolerance in the Christian faith for different factions of the same religion, why can't humans all agree to be humans in that they are all equal to experience life and the concept of their own faith without someone going off on a crusade (the religious kind, not the kind to grab back land from a rival faith which uses the excuse that it is a "Holy War") or blowing themselves up on a bus?

anon112508
Post 54

While similar, they are not the same. Eastern Christianity historically dealt with a theology that was much more urban and educated, inasmuch the eastern Mediterranean world was more developed in the first centuries of the Church and focused on heresy and the nature of God.

The western Church had to fight more atheism, and as such, directed its theology for that purpose. i.e., Orthodoxy has no "Corpus Christi" because the nature of the blood and body of Christ was never challenged and Roman Catholicism doesn't celebrate the triumph of icons because they didn't have to. Different histories, different problems

anon111115
Post 52

Constantinople is not now Turkey, it's Istanbul, and Rome is still Rome.

I hope readers of this article and its responses are adult enough to ignore any comments that amount to "RC is best because it has the most members." I'm not sure God's that much into popularity contests.

anon110335
Post 51

My name is Diana.

I do not know as much about the Bible as everybody here, nor do I know the technical words, such as dogma, etc., so please correct me if I am mistaken in any way.

I am Eastern Orthodox, and the Church that I belong to doesn't 'reject' the Pope which many people have implied. We honor him, however not to the extent that the Catholics do. We believe that no one should act on behalf of God or the Holy Spirit, changing rules etc., to adapt to modern times.

My faith teaches that all Bishops are equal, and that their role is to educate and teach.

Also I don't think this has been mentioned, but the presence of the devil in both religions is significant. My boyfriend's parents are both Roman Catholics, and they barely speak about the devil, apart from the fact he is in hell. Where my mum and grandmother, on the other hand, believe the devil is responsible for sins, etc.

I believe the differences in the churches shouldn't matter, because at the end of the day, both Churches believe in the same God, the same Holy Spirit, Mother Mary and the Saints. I respect both so much and I hope I have not offended anybody in any way.

anon104125
Post 49

I think we should all focus on our and personal development of our love for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Focus on increasing our own spirituality.

If we were all better christians, and stopped trying to fault the others' religion, the would would be much better.

I, for one, am trying to further educate myself and help those around me find god. Not worrying about politics.

anon95003
Post 47

Brothers and Sisters in Christ: If the Church, the Body of Christ, is divided, it is because love and humility is lacking.

Jesus left us with one Church. Today, His Body is shredded and torn to pieces. Love is missing.

Unity will not begin with a signed treaty, but in the heart. The first step is to unite the dates of Easter. out of pure love for Jesus, so that every Christian heart is united to the Passion and the Resurrection of our Lord, with one mind, on one date, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised that if we unify the dates of Easter, the Holy Spirit will come in full force to give us the next step to take for complete unity and peace. But the Church must unify the dates of Easter first, and then the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Let us raise our hearts in prayer for the Church to unify the dates of Easter, for no one's sake but for Our Lord Jesus Christ alone.

anon88624
Post 46

Love thy neighbor. Enough said.

anon84630
Post 44

I am a christian and member of the Orthodox Church. All I can say is that I have nothing but love for my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ

God bless you all. --Konstantine

anon81948
Post 43

"I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven..." -Jesus Christ.

My brother and sisters of The Orthodox Church, how can you not believe these words of our Savior? He doesn't say "I give you twelve" but calls out Peter individually saying "and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose shall be loosed in heaven." Both Churches accept apostolic succession, therefore Peter's replacement upon his martyrdom was the new Pope of Rome assuming the intrinsic powers given to Peter by Christ.

There are also instances in the early church. In the Letters of the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea, the Roman Bishop is referred to as the "head of all churches" twice. If the Orthodox claim nothing added or removed, why do they ignore this concerning the Pope? As some other person here noted, the Pope's authority was used to turn over the iconoclastic period in the Byzantine church.

Even with this said, maybe the Pope should make a dispensation to the Orthodox Church in order to bring unity. Something to think about.

anon81328
Post 42

My dear Orthodox friends who deny The Holy Pope, lets read Matthew 16: 17-19 one last time!

"Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death [gates of hell] shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

He gave Peter, the first Pope of Rome "The Keys" and what he binds on earth will be bound in heaven and what he loose on earth shall be loose in heaven! How can you deny this?

It wasn't just his faith, as Christ says this in particular to Peter and not the other 11. Just like the family needs a head, Christ knew so did his Church. Lets all get together and praise the Lord!

anon81327
Post 41

Mary Egypt, may the Good Lord bless you for your insightful comments! And for everyone, may we also come into the light! I to have had exposure to both Churches and can feel the Holy Spirit well represented in both tradition. They are so close to each other, we should all do what we can to bring the back in communion!

"Lord Jesus, may your prayer in the garden of Gethsemane come into the light and that Catholics and Orthodox become once again one body in Christ, Amen! What Jesus has prayed together let no man put asunder!"

anon81326
Post 40

To the gentle person who claims that people should "come home" to the Orthodox church, I'd tell him you got it backward, "come home to the Catholic Church." Even though Papal supremacy is widely misunderstood, it does have its roots from The Holy Bible and throughout the history of the churches.

It's undeniable that it is in The Bible; while talking to the 12 Apostles, Jesus asked "who do you say I am?" Only Peter answered "you are The Christ, and on this rock (Petros in Greek-Peter) I will build my Church and nothing shall come between it". Christ was not making reference only to Peter's faith but his conviction in particular.

Only he answered Christ-no other Apostle did. Since The Orthodox Church excepts Apostolic succession, I feel it almost impossible to deny this. Come home to the Catholic Church!

anon81085
Post 39

There have been a lot of comments on this site about who can receive communion at whose church. I'd like to clear this up once and for all.

Although I do not know the theology behind their decision, Eastern Orthodox members, according to The Eastern Rite (The Ecumenical Patriarche), cannot receive The Holy Eucharist in a Roman Catholic Church or by a Roman Catholic priest. The Roman Catholic Church does not allow Catholics to receive unless under extreme circumstances.

For example, if you were dying and only an Orthodox Priest could get there in time, a Catholic could receive under this circumstance (even though I'm not sure if an Orthodox Priest would give it to the catholic). I hope this clears it up a bit.

anon80822
Post 38

anon11374: Although I think you truly believe what you're saying is true,I think this kind of language you use is exactly what disrespects Christ's last prayer before being betrayed that "they do not fight among each other".

I, as a Roman Catholic, can also go through history to disprove what you say (such as the Eastern iconoclasts and how they went to the Holy See of Rome to get a ruling on it [why would they see the Pope if he didn't have the authority?] upon which The Pope allowed the worship of icons which the Orthodox truly love?)

I could also ask was your Church "the True Church" when it allowed this heresy?

The True Church will be the one that loves the other enough, in fidelity, to bring the church of Christ together. If we loved one another as much as we should their would be no schism.

Your language and claims only further divide the churches. Indeed, in fact not what, who we pray to each night, wished to have happened that he prayed to his Father about it. I thirst to be in communion with you; I hope you do also.

anon80818
Post 37

Let me start by stating I am a Roman Catholic. This being said, I have had many Eastern Orthodox friends, and at one time, fell in love with an Orthodox lady. Even though it didn't work out, it left me with a great admiration for my Orthodox brothers and their Mass.

Both churches seem to believe they are right in what they believe but seem to forget Christ last prayed to his father in the garden of Gethsemane, that his followers "do not fight among themselves".

When we Catholics and Orthodox argue about who's right and who's wrong, we weaken what should be the unity of the church(es) while not respecting the prayer of Christ to his Father. It also gives the enemies of Christ ammunition to further pain in suffering in the world.

They use our separation as a proof that both Churches have no authority. I can only say that I believe whichever of the two Churches really loves Christ will be willing to do more to bring these two halves of Christ back together as they should be. Let us love one another as we now love our own Church.

anon80453
Post 36

Everyone who commented on this site is crazy biased towards eastern orthodoxy. Let's get some people defending the faith with the highest member count in the world: Roman Catholic. That is all.

anon79711
Post 35

Dear Richard: A Roman Catholic can take part in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, However, a Roman Catholic cannot take part in Communion. You must be a baptized and chrismated Orthodox christian to partake in the Holy Mystery of Eucharist.

The Divine Liturgy is about 2 hours vs. the Roman Catholic mass of 45 min. Unfortunately, Rome has taken too much out of the Mass. You will find the Divine Liturgy more spiritually fulfilling.

I encourage you to find out.

anon79708
Post 34

Dear anon71727: You want to become an Orthodox Christian. You will be very blessed in the process. First, look in your phone book under Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. They will be listed as either: Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Ukraine Orthodox, OCA (Orthodox Church in America).

You need to try them all. But what is most important is that you pray and ask that the Holy Spirit will lead you to the right church. It will take time but be patient. When Jesus said, "Knock and the door will be open, seek and you will find, ask, and it will be given to you." This scripture is still very true today.

When God knows that you are seeking the true church, you will find. It took me five years of diligently searching and God lead me to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

What do you need to do to become Orthodox? Each priest will probably have a different answer. I was baptized and chrismated by an Orthodox Bishop so it was a blessing for me.

I told the Bishop, "I want to become an Orthodox Christian. What must I do?" He told me, "First you must make your life confession. Next get baptized by three immersions and Chrismated." Chrismation is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus said in John Chapter 3, when Nicodemus said what must I do to be saved, Jesus said you must me be baptized in the water and the spirit. So, the three immersions of baptism are the water and the Chrismation is from the Holy Spirit.

This is a life commitment to the Orthodox Faith, but you will be very blessed. Attend all the Eastern Orthodox churches in your area and pray to God which one will be right for you.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the faith, then I advise you to to call an Eastern Orthodox Monastery, ask for the Abbot(Male) or Abbess (Female) and ask for a blessing to spend at least two to three weeks at the Monastery to immerse yourself in the faith. This is what I did and it was a blessing I will never forget.

If you are a male, if you want an experience you will never forget, write a letter to his holiness in Constatinolpe, Istanbul Turkey and ask for a blessing to go to Mount Athos for a couple of weeks. Mount Athos is where the monastic life started in the church.

If you get the blessing, he will send it to you by letter in the Greek language. You then take the letter and call the Pilgrims office in Thessaloniki, Greece and tell them you have the letter and when you want to go. When you get to Thessaloniki, you will check into the office and tell them again when you want to go to the Holy Mountain.

I recommend that you get a map of Mount Athos, since it is so big. You will see over 20 monasteries, but you will not have time to see everything. I saw seven of the 20 in 16 days. Be prepared to travel as light as you can and do a lot of hiking.

The peak of Mt. Athos is 6500 ft. and is to dangerous in the winter to hike. From Thessaloniki you will take a bus for three hours to the city of Uronopolsis. From there you will take a three-hour boat ride to the port of Daphne and from there to the capital city of Keyres. Good luck.

There are 20 monasteries, and over 100 - 200 skates which are smaller monastic communities. Be prepared to be in church about 8 hours a day. You will only eat two meals per day since the monks are on a continuous fast from meat. Basically you are a vegetarian. You will be hungry most of the time. But this is part of the spiritual struggle.

It was a blessing or me that I will never forget.

May the Lord bless you in your journey.

anon79706
Post 33

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Christ is Risen! Only the Holy Spirit can lead you to the true faith (The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church).

As a convert myself to the Eastern Orthodox Faith, I was raised Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church turned me off to the faith. I saw too many ungodly actions from Catholic priests that turned me off from the Catholic Church.

Originally, priests and deacons were always allowed to get married. This still holds true in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was the Roman church that made this change that priests had to take the oath of celibacy. Now the church of Rome is now in crisis for making the change.

In the teaching of the 12 Apostles, the Apostles themselves always baptized by three immersions, In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Orthodox Church still holds to this teaching. Not sprinkling in the Roman Church.

The sacraments are not called sacraments but are called Holy Mysteries in the Eastern Orthodox church. The Holy Mystery of Confession is so much different in the Eastern church vs Rome. We confess our sins to God and not the priest.

In the Orthodox church, we stand or kneel before the Icon of Christ and Confess our sins to Christ. The priest is present to listen to our confession to be of encouragement. He prays and says may God forgive you.

The priest does not have any right to forgive us of sin -- only God can do this. My experience of Confession was so much more Spiritual healing vs a Catholic confession.

There is more commitment in the Eastern Church. We have a prayer book and say daily and evening prayers, prayers for the living and the dead, prayers for the sick, prayers before and after Holy Communion.

To receive communion, we must fast, nothing to eat or drink after midnight on Sat., say our prayers and go to confession before receiving the body and blood of Christ.

It is by the Holy Spirit that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. These are prayed by the priest and the congregation together in prayer.

There are many other topic to talk about, but everything can not be covered on this subject.

May God bless you.

anon75388
Post 32

Orthodoxy is celebrating its 2010th birthday, when Catholics were "born" in 1054. That alone tells you a lot.

anon73629
Post 31

anon71727: The best way to go about joining the Holy Orthodox Church is to seek it out. Find a local Orthodox Church and talk with the priest. I came to the Orthodox Church from a very strong Roman Catholic background and I could not feel more welcomed. God Bless you on your quest.

anon71727
Post 30

I want to be a member of the Eastern Orthodox church and not of the Roman Catholic Church. How can I receive assistance in this?

MaryEgypt
Post 27

Peace and blessing for great and Holy Lent! I must say that I have been looking for a dialogue just like this one--and I find your thoughtful, sincere, and educational comments each have shared to be a gift from The Most Holy God!

How we have needed such a loving and open dialogue, how The Holy Spirit blesses us here!

I am a twice blessed churchmouse having Greek and Irish family ties of love nurturing my faith all of my life---and my love for the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church are deep.

I receive love from both sides of my Christian family--within the proper boundaries--and I cannot imagine life without either of The two ancient Churches. I am so glad we have all chosen to share and hear one another here, and thank you to the creators of this quality site.

I hope that I will be a good and contributing "Geek".

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy upon me a sinner. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen!

anon62121
Post 25

I agree that Christianity is about love. And that is my point.

You hurt my feelings a little calling my post a yoga class, though. ;- ) Doesn't this just illustrate why I feel I'd like to go to church more frequently? I'd like to be better read and more aware in this area.

I may not be very articulate, and I apologize for that, but my point was that I would rather spend my time praying or doing good works than trying to figure out why the world I was born into has rifts between people who - on the grand scheme of things - actually agree with each other much more than they disagree and are on the whole all working toward the same thing. I am speaking, of course, about religious differences, and particularly about Christian differences. I have never understood this and it sometimes makes me profoundly sad.

But something bright was read at church today, the passage 1 Corinthians 12 - and this is really exactly what I believe:

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men...

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

...and that's us, my friends. If you bother to read this, that has to be us. A body that attacks itself - well, it is not well. But a body that seeks to heal, to work together well, will be well and be able to accomplish much.

You sound sad and tired. Don't be. It sounds like you are right on track - and the world so needs that. Let your light so shine!

As for children - absolutely not forcing anyone to pray - but it is important for them to have an opportunity to be together with the family in a setting they can feel is a spiritually comfortable home. For me, at least, this was enormously important and very comforting in bad times.

And in the local church here, they see some people with whom they go to school. So that's all very important. They need to know that there are good people choosing to do good things in their community and that this is a choice that they can make. And, when we go to visit my relatives and go to another church there, hopefully they will also see examples of people acting well there also. But if the second church is far away, I can't just not give them examples in the meantime.

Better to go to a local church, even if the differences cited below exist.

I've already gone on too long - but in brief, please don't be sad about bad people wherever you may be from. It is the same everywhere. And this is what I was trying to say: there is good, and that good exists on both sides of this debate. And that good is - I think - what we all strive for.

I am not sure if I am meant to be an arm or a leg, but my goal is first and foremost to do what is necessary to make the body work. So my goal is to first be a Christian mother, whichever side of this discussion that falls upon just has to be second.

ps: Not sure we can post anything other than anonymously.

Moderator's reply: You can register as a named poster. When you do, your comments will appear automatically, without having to be moderated.

anon59343
Post 24

why post anonymously? you cannot force love.

forcing children to pray together most of the time fails. the approach to Christ should be natural.

i quote the last person "If we all truly pray, if we truly put the most important before us, all else will fall away. " - this sounds like a yoga class 'let`s make a spiral and make the bad comet heading earth go away.'

christianity is about your inner self. christianity is about love, love given away freely to people in need.

christianity, just like any other religion, is intimate. It is not important how many times you go to church but is important how i do it, with what heart, what mood etc. the point is to have a real dialogue with your inner self. in all churches there are bad people; this doesn't mean we have to stop believing.

i am tired now. i may write more, but is it worth it?

anon56230
Post 23

If we all have love, and respect for each other and strive to follow the Lord's teachings, why oh why are these things bringing us apart?

I am not a theologian - I am a mother. I want my family to pray together and my children to grow up to love God and follow Christ's teachings. For that, we need Christian support. Our nearest OCA church in English is over 1 hour away. So we have made the decision to attend a Catholic church. Because we want to worship God and give thanks and praise, and remind ourselves at a minimum weekly of what we are lacking in our spiritual life.

I also want to do good works in the community and teach my children to do the same. And I would like to do this in the community of other believers. I am so very sad that this rift cannot be closed. I love my church and the culture in which I was raised. I do not want to abandon it, and in my heart I feel I have room for all these traditions.

And I believe - with an unwavering and burning faith - that God does as well. So these matters - how can we -- how can we continue to let them distract us from what is our God and the mission He has for us?

If we all truly pray, if we truly put the most important before us, all else will fall away.

Our children are our future. Can we not present them with our rich diversity, but in a unity that is with Christ? Somehow - can you, please our leaders of both sacred traditions in service to our Lord, can you solve this for us?

anon53994
Post 22

In my opinion the eastern orthodox churches were formed of communism as not allowing the money made to continue to rome. How could a communist country allow for a church to govern the people which was set out side of the country and government?

Where are the profits of the church going?

That is the question.

It is proven in scripture that priests are not supposed to be married.

anon41753
Post 20

As far as the Mother of God is concerned, the Orthodox Church believes and teaches that she was born exactly like any other humain being, but that the original sin was taken away of her (like of any other human being at baptism) at the very moment when the angel announced to her that she was to conceive of the Holy Spirit.

This was, of course, an immaculate Conception.

Many catholics also believe that way, not having understood the teaching of their Church, which is different altogether, but having a good common sense.

anon32250
Post 18

After looking up differences between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches (and some of them *are* interesting)I suddenly realized that we should be looking just as closely at *similarities* between Christians.

anon28981
Post 17

No an eastern orthodox cannot take communion in a christian mass and vice versa. I have had this conversation with my boyfriend's eastern orthodox priests.

anon26564
Post 16

Catholics celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25th, and Orhodox on Jan. 7th., because they calculate the time based on Julian (Orthodox), and Gregorian (Catholic) calendar.

anon19319
Post 14

Anon 11374 said: If someone fails three times, the Church will not allow you to marry again. This is clearly in line with the teaching of the Bible.

I am not sure which Bible you are reading, but if you can show me where in the Bible it says you can have 3 chances to marry, I'd love to see it. I have an Easter Orthodox friend and he admits that he is embarrassed by this 3 strikes and your out teaching. It's not biblical and you know it.

Anon 11374 said: "Even if the Pope was the successor of Peter, as we can see from the New Testament the Church Council holds the authority. For example, at the First Council of Jerusalem, Bishop James the Brother of the Lord (not birth brother obviously) presided over the council because it was in his diocese. Peter did not preside! Furthermore, the council rebuked Peter and his teaching about converts needing to be circumcised etc."

You need to read Acts 15 and the rest of Acts for that matter to notice how Peter takes a leadership role numerous times. A careful unbiased reading will indicate that Peter clearly makes the first statement of the council, after much debate. And the people fell silent after Peter spoke. The Pope has the final say. Certainly the bishops have authority (Mt. 18:18), but the pope was given that special privilege (Mt. 16:19) Councils are great and bishops can work in agreement to guide our church, but there are times when one person is needed to settle a debate. This is very biblical (See Numbers 12,16 and more). Otherwise we end up splitting over and over again like the Protestants who have to resort to a vote on doctrine. Truth should not be decided by a vote. Back to Acts 15, After Peter spoke, then James, the Bishop of Jerusalem spelled out the specifics for those hard line Jewish converts. This is very similar to how the Catholic Church works today. The pope may give an encyclical, but Bishops implement it in their dioceses throughout the world.

Could you show me where Peter tells the Gentile converts they need to be circumcised? In fact, he tells the council that they shouldn't do that (Acts 15:10). Again, I don't know which Bible you are getting this from but if any true understanding can happen,it is important to get the facts right.

There are a number of errors from anon11374. I will address just one more due to time.

He or she said: How can the Catholic Church bless a marriage, and then later annul it? Do the children born in this marriage therefore suddenly become born out of wedlock?

Jesus said "What God has joined together, man cannot separate." So how can the Church declare what God has joined annulled? However Jesus did say that in certain cases of unfaithfulness a divorce was allowed.

An annulment means the marriage never existed properly from the beginning. This information could come out later after they were married, e.g. one of the partners reveals later that they married just for money or something. This is how the Roman Catholic church looks at the clause "except in the case of "pornea"". So Jesus says, "A man may not divorce his wife (at all) except in the case where the marriage is unlawful." Apparently, the Eastern Church translates the word pornea as most Protestant churches, "unfaithfulness". The Roman Catholic Church does not look at spousal unfaithfulness as a reason for divorce. Nor does God break His covenant with His people because of their unfaithfulness. The Roman Catholic view that marriage is indissoluble seems more in line with the Biblical view of covenant. I'm still baffled by the claim that 3 marriages and 2 divorces are allowed and it's clearly in the Bible.

anon19239
Post 11

what are some differences in roman catholic beliefs and eastern orthodox beliefs

anon14186
Post 10

If the Eastern Orthodox Church does not acknowledge the Immaculate Conception, then what do they or you believe? It is totally barbaric to believe that the Savior of Man was born with Original Sin. Throughout the life of Jesus he is tempted by the Devil, and never once does he give in, maybe an effect of the lack of Original Sin because of the Immaculate Conception. Please help me to understand the beliefs of the very different Orthodox Church.

-GS

gmatthews6
Post 9

The Russian Orthodox Church does not celebrate Christmas on the same day as it is celebrated in the West. The Russian Church uses the 'old calendar,' the Julian calendar for ecclesiastical matters.

anon11374
Post 8

Dear My Orthodox Brothers and our Beloved Catholic Friends,

Although Christian Unity is important, the Orthodox Church must place truth above a false union with the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope is not the head of the whole Church, even if one did think that Our Lord calling Peter the rock meant that he was head of the Church, Peter was first Bishop in Antioch before he went to Rome. Is the Bishop of Antioch therefore head of the Church? Besides, the Ecumenical Councils (which the Catholic Church theoretically accepts) give the Ecumenical Patriarch like privileges to the Roman Pope (the Patriarch of Alexandria has also historically been called the Pope) and declared that the Pope is first among equals.

Even if the Pope was the successor of Peter, as we can see from the New Testament the Church Council holds the authority. For example, at the First Council of Jerusalem, Bishop James the Brother of the Lord (not birth brother obviously) presided over the council because it was in his diocese. Peter did not preside! Furthermore, the council rebuked Peter and his teaching about converts needing to be circumcised etc. Clearly the Pope is not the only Bishop who lays claim to an Apostolic throne founded by Peter (Antioch has the first claim) and even then Peter did not lord over the whole Church.

The corrupt and unfortunate result of this teaching in the condition of Popes for many centuries can be sadly found in history. The Orthodox Church with the ancient sees of Constantinople (St Andrew, near Ephesus), Alexandria (St Mark), Antioch (St Peter and Paul), Jerusalem (St James) and the other 40 out of 45 earliest Churches are still Orthodox (I once read that 44 out of 45 of the Earliest Christian Churches are still Orthodox, only Rome is not because of here desire to be the sole head of the Church. She attained her desire by separating and is now the sole head of her Church comprising of herself).

History shows that the Roman Church added the filioque to the Creed (which the councils said could not be changed), added the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, added and now took away the doctrine of purgatory, has engaged in the error of using indulgences at times, has a false understanding of sin and guilt, and has made drastic changes to the Liturgy (a recent example is Vatic II).

Even a short examination of the Orthodox Church will show that it is the most Ancient in its Doctrines and Liturgical Practice.

In regards to divorce, the Orthodox Church recognises that Marriage is forever. However, the Church also knows that humans are weak. So in cases where there has been infidelity or a similar sin in a marriage resulting in divorce and the couples will not unite again, the Church may grant a divorce. Then they can marry someone again in a special penitential ceremony asking for God's forgiveness. Priests cannot marry again or marry someone who has had a divorce. If someone fails three times, the Church will not allow you to marry again. This is clearly in line with the teaching of the Bible. How can the Catholic Church bless a marriage, and then later annul it? Do the children born in this marriage therefore suddenly become born out of wedlock?

Jesus said "What God has joined together, man cannot separate." So how can the Church declare what God has joined annulled? However Jesus did say that in certain cases of unfaithfulness a divorce was allowed.

To all Catholics, please research the Orthodox Church and return to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church's ancient teachings. Look at the lives of our monks, nuns, the Jesus Prayer, the Holy Mountain, our saints, at our spirituality, at Theosis, etc. The Orthodox Church is truly a treasury, a spiritual hospital to cure any of your illnesses.

Come home!

In Christian love, Lord Jesus Christ, You who prayed that the Church would be one and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against Your Body, guide all those who call upon your name and bring all schismatic or heretical Churches to truth for to You we ascribe all Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Through the prayers of the Holy Fathers Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on us. Amen.

anon6987
Post 7

Some argue that it was the Pope and his desire for supreme power (a power no Pope before him ever claimed) who broke away from the other 4 ancient patriarchates and the vast majority of the rest of the Church. Truth be told, the Pope didn’t even have the authority to excommunicate the “rest” of the Church; only a great council (such as had been convened many times before) could decide if a group had fallen into error. The Orthodox Church does not believe in change, at least to its doctrines and traditions. The Roman Catholic Church goes through some changes with every Pope.

John6vs66
Post 6

Hail Mary...

John6vs66
Post 5

Is it true that the Eastern Orthodox church allows 2 divorces and 3 marriages? I think East and West can find resolution to each of its differences, if I have heard the Eastern Orthodox side correctly, but if this divorce thing is true, this may be the most difficult, aside from the papacy issue. I recall Jesus saying, "What God has joined together, man cannot separate." How can the East claim to be so faithful to Jesus' teachings, yet so far off here? That sounds like many Protestant churches. Sorry Protestants. Or doesn't Matthew 5:32 say, "If a man divorces his wife, he can remarry and is allowed to divorce one more time and remarry and that's it. The 3 strike and you're out rule." NOT. Regarding the primacy of the pope, I heard that in Nov. of '07, when East and West met, the East did admit that the pope had primacy. I guess the East still doesn't see the pope as leader. It's fairly easy to defend the primacy and authority of the pope with Mt. 16:17-19 and other passages, quotes from Church Fathers, Old Testament passages and logic.

Then of course we would have to lengthen the liturgy a couple hours and then that will be proof. Aside from all that, it's a scandal and a sin that the church is divided, as the Church is Jesus. He called for unity 4 times in His high priestly prayer of John 17. When there is difference in doctrine (I see some of the differences between East and West more as semantics and not huge), the Holy Spirit who was promised to guide us into all truth cannot be saying one thing then another. I hope the leaders have the courage to rectify the schism, despite the fact that many of the laity will not want change. Those who truly love Jesus will be happy that His Body is being mended.

litlrooh
Post 4

In answer to a question above:

Roman Catholic and Eastern Rite Catholics are both governed by the Pope of Rome. Thus, RC's and EC's can commune at each other's churches.

The RC/EC church recognizes the Eastern Orthodox Sacraments, including Confession, thus an Eastern Orthodox Christian can commune at an RC or EC church. But a RC or EC Christian cannot commune at an Eastern Orthodox Church because the EO church does not recognize the sacraments of the RC/EC church.

At one time it was all "one church". And then it separated into the "Western Church" and the "Eastern Church".

Now there is Western and Eastern Rite Catholics, and Eastern and Western Rite Orthodox.

It is true that it was the Western church that changed the Nicene creed, and because of that and the ensuing differences in how Peter's Office is interpreted that the Western Church and Eastern Churches separated.

anon6306
Post 3

no the catholic church separated from the orthodox church. catholics tampered with the original Nicene creed which orthodox churches still recite if you want to know the true church is orthodoxy because it practices the ways when the orthodox and catholic church were one. to prove it attend a catholic mass then attend an orthodox mass im sure you will find the orthodox mass more spiritual an orthodox mass goes for about 3 hrs. a catholic mass goes for 45 min

anon5747
Post 2

Does The Roman Catholic Church recognize the validity of the Euchurist in The Eastern Catholic Church and can a Roman Catholic take part in an Eastern Rite Mass?

Richard

anon4375
Post 1

This is an interesting and very information article. I enjoyed it a lot but I think the comment that "Since Vatican II, however, Roman Catholic services are conducted in the native tongue. Only members of Opus Dei continue to consistently celebrate the Latin mass" is slightly misleading.

There are other organizations, such as SSPX, that still celebrate in Latin. Some Novus Ordo churches still hold Latin services for people who prefer it. In addition, many churches, such as the one I attend, celebrate a Latin mass independent of any organization whatsoever.

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