Whether you are a Catholic or an Orthodox Christian, it’s important to understand the differences between the two churches. There are several important differences that make one church different from the other, such as the authority of the pope, the sign of the cross, and the language of worship. These differences are important to know when making a decision.
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Despite the Orthodox church’s apparent willingness to accept the Pope as a spiritual leader, it has not recognized him as such. The Orthodox church does not recognize the pope as the highest bishop, as the Roman Catholics do. In addition, the Greek Orthodox do not recognize the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Moreover, they do not accept the Stations of the Cross.
The Orthodox view of the Catholic Church is a bit curious. Nevertheless, both the Catholic and Orthodox churches share certain common roots and theology. However, there are also minor differences between them.
According to the Roman Catholic theology, the Pope is the highest bishop, and is infallible. The Roman Catholic Church believes in the Virgin Mary as the mother of God, and salvation through baptism. It also worships statues and icons.
Among the most significant things Pope Francis has done for the Roman Catholic Church in recent years is make ecumenical dialogue a cornerstone of his papacy. He has paid courtesy visits to Greek leaders and has encouraged his minority flock. He has also urged Orthodox leaders to work toward unity.
The two churches have had an interesting history. They have shared roots with each other since the early days of Christianity. However, there has been tension between the two for over a thousand years. The first great schism occurred in 1054 when the eastern and western branches of the Christian church split.
Differences between the two
Among the differences between the Greek Orthodox church and the pope are their approaches to doctrinal issues. While both churches accept the Bible as the sacred text, their views on theological issues are quite different.
The Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit is a gift of God. They also believe that the Holy Spirit is one of three parts of the Christian Trinity. The other two are the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is God’s spiritual presence on earth.
The Catholic Church believes that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son. They believe that the Holy Spirit is the source of sanctifying grace. This grace is given through baptismal regeneration. It is subsequently maintained through sacraments.
Sign of the cross
Historically, the sign of the cross in the Greek Orthodox Church has recognized the Pope of Rome. This does not mean that the Orthodox have accepted the Pope as the leader of all Christians. They believe that the Pope is only one of five Patriarchs in the Church. These Patriarchs are the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople.
The Orthodox and the Catholics share many things in common. They both believe that Jesus is the Savior and that salvation comes through baptism. However, there are significant differences between the two churches. Among the differences are differences in doctrine, sacraments, and worship.
Authority of the pope
During the Middle Ages, the pope assumed infallibility in official statements. It became a matter of controversy over the nature of the church and the authority of the pope.
The Orthodox Church argues that the Pope is not the head of all Christianity but a representative of the heavenly Father. The Catholics disagree. They claim that the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is an invisible entity that cannot be identified with a human body.
The Orthodox claim that the authority of the Apostles did not change over time. Peter was named in every list of the Apostles and he received a triple commission. He was tasked with strengthening the brethren.
Language of worship
Traditionally, the Greek Orthodox Church worships in ancient Greek. This has not changed for nearly two thousand years. However, it has become more common in recent years to see some parishes worship in local vernacular languages. The Orthodox Church maintains many customs from Apostolic times.
The Bible teaches that God the Son was born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered for our salvation. He will one day be resurrected and judge the living and the dead. In Orthodoxy, these are the foundational elements of faith. We become Orthodox by putting these into practice.
In the Orthodox Church, the Nicene Creed is the best known liturgical symbol. It is a simple statement of faith composed by theologians at Ecumenical Councils. It teaches that there is only one God in three Persons.