Are Orthodox Christians Catholic? The truth of the matter is, yes they are. And they are also part of the Roman Catholic Church. But it is also important to be aware of what exactly constitutes Catholicism. So here are a few things to consider.
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Bread and wine
For Orthodox Christians, bread and wine are symbols of the true body and blood of Christ. The Eucharist is the center of Christian life. All things in the Church flow from it. As Christ offers himself to God through his priestly ministry, so he gives himself to the faithful in his sacraments.
The word transubstantiation first appeared in a sermon by Gilbert of Savardin in 1079. It is a mysterious change of substance. When the words of consecration are uttered, the liquid is transformed into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
A priest must intend transubstantiation at the moment of consecration. After this, it is a matter of faith as to whether the sacrament is truly changed.
There are several explanations as to how the sacrament changes. One popular idea is that the change is the result of the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
Orthodox Christians believe that the Eucharist is the centre of all the doctrines of the Church. It is the source of unity and salvation in the body of Christ.
The Church believes that the Eucharist is a true sacrifice, as Jesus Christ offered his body and blood for our salvation. In the Eucharist, bread and wine are changed into the real Body and Blood of Christ, as the priest prays to the Father.
Orthodox tradition also uses the terms “sacrament,” “mystery,” and “spiritual and bloodless sacrifice” to describe the service. During the Liturgy, the priest offers the sacraments to the people and invokes the Holy Spirit on them. He also remembers the Most Holy Lady Theotokos and all saints.
A person should prepare for the Eucharist by abstaining from smoking, drinking, and chewing since midnight. He should also cleanse his conscience from sin and misunderstanding. If he is receiving Communion irregularly, he should go to Confession.
Orthodox Christians believe in a monotheistic, divine concept of God. They also believe in the Holy Spirit as a source of guidance in the church.
The Orthodox Church is a collection of several self-governing churches. This is due to the territorial principle, which organizes the church. These churches include the Coptic, Greek, and Oriental Orthodox. Each has its own unique views on doctrine.
The main difference between the Catholic and Orthodox churches is how they interpret the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Orthodox Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is a dynamic force that leads the church to truth through ecumenical councils.
In the Roman Catholic church, the Holy Spirit is considered to be an attribute of the Son. Some Orthodox Christians agree with the Catholic view. However, others, including Lutherans and Anglicans, hold a different opinion.
Remarriage after divorce
While the Roman Catholic Church does not explicitly allow remarriage after divorce, the Eastern Orthodox Church does. The early Church Fathers saw the freedom to pursue a life of solitude and independence as preferable to living with a spouse.
In fact, some Catholics argue that remarriage between unbaptized individuals is not sacramental. A second marriage is generally allowed, although it may be disallowed for “economical” reasons.
Nevertheless, there are many similarities between the Orthodox and Catholic churches on the subject. One of the earliest church texts mentions a penance for remarriage. It is also notable that the Orthodox have a more robust sacramental theory on marriage than the Western Church.
However, while the Orthodox Church may have a better handle on the subject, the Catholic Church has the charism of infallibility. Thus, it is able to teach and promulgate true doctrine. Likewise, the ecclesiastical hierarchy has the right to impose a strict stipulation on the number of remarriages.
The seven ecumenical councils
Ecumenical councils are official meetings held to settle religious issues. They provide doctrinal clarity and definition. These early Christian meetings were important to Orthodox identity.
Seven ecumenical councils were held during the fourth through sixth centuries. They dealt with various topics, including Christ’s human and divine natures, heresies, and the unity of the Church. The ecumenical movement was an attempt to bring the different branches of Christianity together in a common body of faith.
While the First Ecumenical Council mainly dealt with the topic of Arianism, the second and seventh councils went into other areas. For example, the Seventh Ecumenical Council affirmed icons of Mary and saints. It also rebuked a Nestorian misconception that the Virgin Mary gave birth to a man.
In the First Ecumenical Council, the bishops and priests met in Nicea. James served as the head of the Council. He summarized the discussions and gave the final decision.