Friday, November 24, 2006

Are Orthodox Catholic?

The term "catholic" is an adjective as well as a noun. "Catholic" actually means "universal" and was used early in church history to refer to the church as a whole. "Catholic" is also a noun commonly used to refer to the western Roman church which split from the east in what has come to be called the Great Schism.

Orthodox are not Roman Catholics and Roman Catholics are not Orthodox. The Roman church in the west (Rome and beyond) has evolved since the schism while the Orthodox have remained virtualy unchanged. Roman Catholic doctrines and practices today more closely resemble Protestants.

Orthodoxy has never experienced events such as the Reformation or Counter Reformation, but has maintained the fullness of the Gospel message since long before the additions that crept into the Roman Communion, such as the doctrines of Papal Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception. The Protestant Reformation has also greatly erred by accepting many of Rome's practices, such as the filioque clause in the Creed, while jettisoning many of the hallmarks of what the Church really is, such as the Historic Episcopacy of the Bishops. Almost all Protestant denominations owe their origins to the Roman Church's evolution through the filter of the Reformation.

Orthodoxy means "Right Thinking, Right Belief, Right action". Orthodoxy is the original church with unbroken unity and succession. Within it is contained the Faith of our Fathers and the original teachings of the Apostles.

[* Journey To Orthodoxy NOTE: After further research, I have discovered that, although the definition "universal" in reference to "catholic" is commonly used, it was a later development and is not accurate. "Catholic" actually means "wholeness" or "fullness" and is more accurately used to infer a spiritual state rather than a geographical one. ( JTO 7/26/07)]


  1. I disagree with you. To say that the Orthodox Church hasn't changed either is a mistake, and it has experienced something similar to the Reformation, only in a lesser scale, with the schism of the Old Believers. I also don't see what's wrong with changes. Senseless conservatism is not good either. The Roman Church needed to reform when Luther came into the scene, and it also does today. Finally, it simply isn't true that the Catholic Church has changed alot. Aside from Papal infabillity, it has pretty much been left unchanged. The controversies of papal supremacy and the filioque clause were already centuries old before even the Great Schism. Also you forget the other Churches who split at the multiple councils, such as the Coptic, Ethiopian, Syriac and Armenian Churches, so to say that somehow Orthodoxy has been unchanged for almost 2000 years is false. This comes from a guy that greatly respects Orthodox Christianity, by the way, and wishes the day where it will finally be reunited with the Catholic Church.

  2. Alejandro, This blog is my "journey" to orthodoxy. On various posts, I have put an "UPDATE" to correct prior misstatements or misconceptions. Thus, I would tend to think your correction is valid and a better balance.


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