When you compare the Orthodox Church to the Catholic Church, you will see that the former rejects the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It also rejects the infallibility of the pope, and it worships God alone. This article will explain how these two faiths differ, and how the Orthodox Church can be an alternative to the Catholic faith. It may also surprise you to find out that both denominations claim to be the same.
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Orthodox church rejects the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
One of the main differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, or the Virgin Mary’s conception without sin. While Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as a Holy Day of Obligation, Orthodox Christians generally reject this teaching. Mary is conceived without sin, but she still suffers from the effects of original sin.
Despite this difference in beliefs, Orthodox theologians generally agree that Mary was purified of original sin before she was born, and in her womb. This doctrine has no relation to the Immaculate Conception, and is not considered dogma by the Orthodox Church. It is more like “sanctification” than “immaculate conception.”
Orthodox church worships God alone
The Orthodox church is a Christian denomination that focuses on worshiping God alone. As such, it recognizes that the incarnation of God into human form was a fundamental truth. Because of this, children are seen as valuable members of the Church from infancy. Children are part of the God-created community at any time, not just during the Christmas season. In fact, Orthodox Christians consider children to be one of God’s most important creations.
The Holy Scriptures are a central component of Orthodox Christianity. The church reads a portion of the Bible at each service. It considers itself the “guardian” and interpreter of the Holy Scriptures. The Orthodox Church considers each book in the Bible as an important witness to the divine revelation. It particularly esteems the Old Testament, a collection of 49 books that expresses God’s revelation to the ancient Israelites. The Orthodox church considers this work a prelude to Christ’s return.
Orthodox church rejects the infallibility of the pope
The infallibility of the pope has been a controversial issue in the Catholic and Orthodox churches for centuries. The Church and its leaders were credited with full doctrinal authority through their union with the centre and head of the church. Questioning the pope’s infallibility, then, is tantamount to a questioning of God’s veracity.
One of the primary differences between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox church is over the issue of the origin of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual presence of God on earth and is one of the three components of the Christian Trinity. Orthodox critics claim that the Catholic/Protestant version undervalues the role of the father in the Christian trinity. Orthodox believers disagree.
Orthodox church believes in the doctrine of the Incarnation
The Orthodox church believes in the doctrine of the incarnation. According to Orthodox Christianity, God created man with the capacity to love and obey him. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and transformed man into a flawed existence. The Fall was the direct result of this ‘Ancestral Sin’. Because of the Fall, death entered the world through Adam, and all humans follow in Adam’s footsteps.
The Orthodox Church believes that salvation is only possible through union with Christ. To enter into union with Christ, one must be baptized, which means life in the Church. This union is called the Incarnation. In Protestantism, the sacraments are signs of inward grace, whereas the Orthodox Church views them as vehicles of divine grace. The doctrine of the Incarnation is a central concept of Orthodox faith.
Remarriage after divorce is not permitted
The Orthodox Church has traditionally been opposed to second marriages. The practice of polygamy is also prohibited, as is bigamy. However, a spouse who is divorced can marry another Orthodox Christian, as long as he is an oblate. There are also some exceptions to this rule, such as a clergywoman marrying an Orthodox Christian. The reasons for this are complex and varied, but they all point to the same basic principle.
The Orthodox Church recognizes that marriage life can be void of meaning. The soul can be lost in the process. In such a case, the Holy Father, Holy John Chrysostom, said it is better to break the covenant than to lose the soul. Therefore, the Church considers divorce as an unfortunate tragedy caused by human weakness and sin. If a spouse is seeking a second marriage, remarriage after divorce is not allowed in the Orthodox Church.