What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church?

Ive been looking into the theology of Orthodox and find very little difference between the two except Papal Authority. Can anyone else add to this? Many thanks

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16 Comments to “What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church?”

  • Fireball

    Orthodox is much more strict….only the priest walks on the altar..

  • obveeous reetard

    one has cookies, then other has cookies with mint chips in them

  • heyimjason

    Eastern is far more strict.

    They also use really old, beautiful buildings, and lots of them have some pretty boss ZZ Top beards.

  • jrrose

    Eastern Orthodox Vs. Roman Catholicism Essay | Student Essays SummaryEastern Orthodox Vs. Roman Catholicism Essay | Student Essays. Eastern Orthodox Vs. Roman Catholicism summary with 2 pages of encyclopedia entries, …
    http://www.bookrags.com/essay-2004/4/13/21427/3024 – 24k – Cached – Similar pages

  • Robert I

    they are same

    i am Iraqi christian in USA there no too many Orthodoxs but in Iraq there are and if you face them don`t talk about Jesus wrong or they smash you

    the most danger people are Orthodox in Iraq they are not too many
    but that don`t matter if you face one of them

  • His Highness Xerxes

    Orhtodox Church is real Church of the Lord

    Roman Catholic Church is a Cult

  • CNL: Diavolo Blu

    Although the Eastern orthodox church shares roots with the Roman Catholic church, they have many contrasting beliefs.
    One major issue that divided the two churches is that controversy of icon use in their rituals and worship. The western church deemed the images appropriate while the Eastern church, influenced by the Iconoclasm movement of Leo III, believed such icons were against the teachings of the Old Testament.

    Another major dividing issue between the two churches was the possession of power.Traditionally, the Pope was the top leader of the church and all matters of divinity were his concerns, but this changed when Eastern Europe adopted Caesaropapism. With this practice there was no separation of church and government.

  • coolangel

    So many reasons.
    The Catholic church is considered by the Orthodox to be too legalistic and relies too much on intellectual speculation. The Orthodox church is considered by the Catholics to be too mystical and relies too much on spiritual practices.
    Catholic Priests may not be married whereas Eastern Orthodox priests may marry prior to ordination.
    The Eastern Orthodox Church does not believe in purgatory and does not observe the Stations of the Cross. And many other reasons.

  • biro206

    The Pope mainly.

    I didn’t know orthodox were more strict! Well you learn something new everyday.

    They are both very traditional though.

  • annalala

    The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest single Christian communion in the world. It has between 225 and 300 million members worldwide. It is considered by its adherents to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Christ and his Apostles nearly 2000 years ago. It is composed of numerous but theologically unified autocephalous ecclesial bodies, each shepherded by a synod of independent bishops whose duty, among other things, is to preserve and teach the Apostolic and patristic traditions and related Church practices. All Orthodox bishops trace their lineage back to one of the twelve Apostles through the process of apostolic succession, while….
    The Roman Catholic Church, officially known as the Catholic Church,[note 1] is the world’s largest and oldest Christian church, representing over half of all Christians and one-sixth of the world’s population.[6][7] The Catholic Church is a communion of 23 sui juris particular churches. Among these are the Western Rite (Latin Rite) and Eastern Catholic Churches comprising 2,782 dioceses. The Church’s highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance is the pope,[8] currently Pope Benedict XVI who holds supreme authority over the Church in concert with the College of Bishops, of which he is the head.[9][10][11] The community is made up of an ordained ministry and the laity; members of either group may belong to organized religious communities.[12]

  • Pastor Art (((SFECU)))

    Back in 1054 the Eastern Orthodox folks decided that the Bishop of Rome had stopped following God, stopped following Jesus.

    So they split off from them.

    Never let it be said that Martin Luther led the defection away from Rome.

    The Eastern Orthodox folks follow the Bible much more closely than those from Rome.

    For example, as the Bible says, members of the clergy are required to be married in the Orthodox Church.

    And let’s remember that the word “Orthodox” means original.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church didn’t correct all the problems with the Roman group so they still are far short of really following the Bible, but they are much closer.

    Lutherans have the same problem. Luther corrected a lot of problems but he didn’t live long enough to correct all of the problems.

  • Kristina R

    i think orthodoz is jewish based

  • grobit625

    Yes. The Orthodox also don’t believe in purgatory.

  • Ann C


  • imacatholic2

    The Orthodox and Catholic Churches were one and the same until they separated from one another in 1054 mainly over the role of the Pope.

    There are very few theological differences. The main difference is that the Orthodox Churches (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11329a.htm) use the Byzantine Rite (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04312d.htm) and the Catholic Church use the Roman or Latin Rite.

    Pope John Paul II said of the Orthodox Churches in Orientale Lumen, “A particularly close link already binds us. We have almost everything in common.”

    For the entire document, see: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_02051995_orientale-lumen_en.html

    With love in Christ.

  • ary_girl

    The Catholic (for there are also Eastern Rites) and Orthodox Churches are very similar in their beliefs. From a Protestant or Catholic view, the Catholic Church is much more similar to the Orthodox Church than it is the Protestant churches. Pope John Paul II considered the Orthodox Church to be the “other lung” of Christianity. “Ut Unum Sint” is an encyclical letter written by JPII that explains the Catholic view of other Churches and ecclesial communities (those who do not have apostolic succession.) The Orthodox, however, consider the Catholics to be closer to Protestantism than to Orthodoxy.

    Although mostly the same, there are some major differences that would be hard to overcome. The two that are pointed out most often are 1.) Papal Authority (As you already know.) and 2.) The Filioque clause
    1.) The two churches are set up differently. The Catholic Church has the Pope as its head whereas the Orthodox Church is a conciliar body. Each Patriarch is in charge of his own jurisdiction. Since Rome is no longer part of the Orthodox Church, the position of “first among equals” has passed to the Patriarch of Constantinople. Orthodox believe that the Pope has over stepped his bounds in saying that he is in charge of the other bishops. Also, he is not infallible when speaking ex-cathedra as Vatican I said he was.
    2.) Filioque means “and the Son.” Originally, the Nicene Creed read “who proceeds from the Father.” However, in order to combat the Arian heresy a priest in France inserted the words “and the Son.” The Greek East did not like this, but it did not become a real issue until the pope supported the addition. Since the Creed had been made during an Ecumenical Council the East did not think that it should be changed. Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit has his origin only in the Father. Some people say that the issue of the Filioque is just an issue of semantics, but to Orthodox Christians it is a very large part of why they are not in union with the Catholic Church.

    Other differences:
    * View of Ecumenical Councils
    Orthodox believe that they must be accepted by the people in
    order to be truly Ecumenical.
    Catholics believe that the bishops meet together with the pope in
    attendence and hold an ecumenical council. The people of the
    church must accept what they have said because it is an
    ecumenical council.
    Orthodox = 7 Ecumenical Councils
    Catholic = 21 Ecumenical Councils

    *View on original sin
    Western Christians put a lot more value on the writings of St.
    Augustine than Eastern Christians do. They do not believe in
    original sin, but only personal sin. People are not born sinful,
    but only have the affects of sin (ie. death, sickness, pain.) For this reason, Orthodox Christians do not believe in the Immaculate Conception. They believe that Mary, or the Theotokos, never commited a sin, but since there is no original sin, the immaculate conception has no meaning, and could even be a heresy. Plus it was spoken ex-cathedra by the pope and is considered unnecessary for belief.

    *priestly celibacy: The Roman rite requires that priests be celibate in all most every case (the exception being a protestant pastor, usually episcopalian, who decides to enter the priesthood.) Before an Orthodox priest is ordained he must decide whether or not he wants to get married. If he does, he needs to do it before ordination. If he doesn’t he has the opportunity to become a bishop. A priest cannot remarry after ordination.

    *Orthodox like mystery and think that the Catholic Church has placed far too much prominence on reason. Think St. Thomas Aquinas.

    *Transubstantiation: Orthodox believe the Eucharist to be the body and blood of Christ, however it should be kept a mystery and not tried to be explained.

    *Confirmation is called Chrismation in the Orthodox Church. A baby or convert receives this along with First Communion and Baptism all at the same time. Babies do not have to wait until the age of reason before they can be given communion.

    *Most Orthodox Churches as well as some Eastern Rite Catholics use the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Roman Rite Catholics use the Novus Ordo or in some Traditional parishes the Tridentine Latin Mass.

    *Orthodox LOVE their Icons! It makes up a large aspect of their faith because a picture is worth a thousand words and the icons not only tell but show the faith.

    *Orthodox fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

    *Number of books in the Old Testament

    Other ways that you can find out information:
    make an appointment with a local Orthodox priest (if you have one in your area.) Read some books about the Orthodox Church. “The Orthodox Church” by Bishop Kallistos Ware gives the beliefs and history of the Orthodox Church. You might also like “The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church.”
    A website that I found helpful is http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/
    go to the forum and they have a section titled “Childboard: Orthodox-Catholic discussion.”

    Ut Unum Sint can be found at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html

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