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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between the Roman Catholic Beliefs and the Easter Orthodox, such as Greek and Russian?

I've been noting some articles about how the Russian Orthodox Church wants to put a stop to the influx of Roman Catholics and other "Western" Churches. What is the difference in their beliefs?

9 Answers

    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Orthodox bishops are independent, as are Orthodox Churches. The Roman Catholic Church has an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Orthodox priests are free to marry, as long as they do so before ordination. Orthodox Christians do not recognize the authority of the Pope as the 'bishop of bishops' or the arbiter of orthodoxy.


    Orthodox Christians follow the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is considerably different from the Latin Mass. Orthodox Christians celebrate the death of the Virgin Mary, rather than her bodily assumption into heaven. Orthodox Christians take both bread and wine in the Eucharist, and use leavened bread instead of unleavened bread.


    Vastly different. Orthodox theology does not accept the doctrines of Original Sin, substitutionary atonement, created grace, purgatory, or a created hell. They do not believe that the bread and wine is literally transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ, but that the bread and wine are permeated with the energy of God. Orthodoxy maintains that there is a difference between the Essence and Energies (or attributes) of God. Salvation in Orthodoxy is not a matter of being equitted for breaking a law - salvation in Orthodoxy is a matter of attaining an ontological union with God.

    That is a very superficial explanation. I recommend that you dig a little deeper if you want a complete analysis of the differences between these two denominations. Also keep in mind that there are 'Uniate' Churches who are Eastern Orthodox in exterior form, but Roman Catholic in theology. Russian Orthodox Churches are also much closer to Roman Catholicism than Greek Orthodox Churches. And many Orthodox Churches in the U.S. are populated by converts who may or may not be familiar with traditional Orthodox doctrine or theology (despite publishing many, many books on the subject).

    Recommended Reading:

    Anything put out by the Church of Greece, Fr. John S. Romanides (,/ Orlapubs articles on Eastern Orthodoxy (I forget the link), anything by Met. Hierotheos Vlachos, Georges Florovsky, Kalistos Ware.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Are you sure you did not ask this in order to get a rant from Zena E.I just yesterday Read two different Greek Orthodox sites explaining there beliefs. After reading them there is no doubt and any one who reads there site and teachings would agree Zena E is a radical. The differences came about more over use of there respective languages and culture than real theological differences. But there are differences tho mostly minor and can be over come and if the two great Churches were to be one again there is no serious difference that would alter the truth of both. Here is one example they the Orthodox do not teach in a Purgatory as Catholics understand it but they do teach that one must pray for the dead even those in Hell to make there time more tolerable until the Last Judgment. Catholics teach Purgatory is where those still unworthy of Gods presence and still have the stains of sin to pay for do so in Purgatory which Paul describes as the fire of purification and we Catholics are to Pray to make there time there easier or able to leave it faster. This is called between the two as same differences.Another minor difference is a Orthodox Priest can become a married Priest if Married before joining the priest hood but once a Priest must remain Celibate and there Bishops must be Celibate,the Catholic Church discipline is what we all know in the western world as strictly a Celibate Priesthood except in special cases such as a Married Lutheran Pastor Joins the Catholic Church and is accepted into the Priesthood. Also in the Orthodox Church when a baby is Baptized they are immersed three times and are confirmed at the Baptism,the Catholic Church Baptism can be either by immersion or pouring and normally by pouring and confirmation comes at a later age after instructions in the Faith. Both have legitimate masses and Priesthood. We consider the Pope to be head of Christ Church they teach he is in primacy but only first among equals. So contrary to Zena E and her anti Catholic rants the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox and the Pope have been working together for unification but taking it slowly so as to iron out there differences with honest understanding. I hope this helps you recognize how really little differences there are between the two.

  • 1 decade ago

    The differences appeared after the Great Schism, in 1054.

    First, and most important, the Orthodox Curch (most important in the Greek one, not the Russian one), doesn't accept the authority of the Pope, as being God's messenger to Earth. But the Orthodox Church does have a hierarchy, and the head of the church is the Patriarch. (but this is basically in every country. There isn't a superior authority, although the Patriarch of Constantnople would probably be the most important figure).

    Orthodox priests can marry, Catholic priests cannot.

    Orthodoxy doesn't believe in Purgatory, as it appeared somewhere after the schism.

    I must quote somebody earlie:

    "Orthodox theology does not accept the doctrines of Original Sin. They do not believe that the bread and wine is literally transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ, but that the bread and wine are permeated with the energy of God. Orthodoxy maintains that there is a difference between the Essence and Energies (or attributes) of God. Salvation in Orthodoxy is not a matter of being equitted for breaking a law - salvation in Orthodoxy is a matter of attaining an ontological union with God."

    All the above are not true. Of course Orthodoxy admits the original sin. Also Orthodoxy believes that the bread and wine are literary transformed into the blood and flesh of Jesus, the difference is that this happens at different stage suring the mass. And salvation is a matter of being equitted for sin.

    Probably the most important difference in theological terms is that found in the Credo (I'm not sure it is called like this in English). Namely the idea of Filioque. Catholics sustain that the Holy Ghost comes both from the Father and from the Son, while Orthodox believe that the Holy Ghost comes only from the Father.

    Also, in Catholicism there is much more emphasis on the Virgin Mary, who is sometimes worshiped more than Jesus Himself.

    Lastly, Catholics have basically statues, while Orthodox churches have Byzantine paintings and no statues.

    But all in all, Catholicism and Orthodoxy are the closest related Christian religions

    Hope this helps

    Source(s): I'm Orthodox, married to a future Orthodox priest
  • *
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The difference is in their acceptance of the Roman bishop (the Pope) as the authority over all bishops, which was the cause of contention between the Western and Eastern---there are some dogmatic differences, such as they do not believe in purgatory as Western Catholics do.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The above website can more fully answer your question than I could in this space. It gives the historical -cultural view of this conflict and how it may be resolved.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    not much...Orthodox churches came out of the Catholic Church.....Bells & Smells !!!not strong on encouraging believers to develop a personal r'ship with God....could lose control of their flocks then , couldn't they ? Evangelicals work towards individuals developing their r'ship with God thru studying his word , prayer , mixing with other believers to encourage one another


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    thank for asking I want to know also.

  • 1 decade ago

    They are all false religions. Here is a website for you. When you get to it click on "false religion" then take your pick from the list.

  • 1 decade ago

    There egg farts

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