The Russian Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church are two of the world’s major churches. However, their histories and spiritual practices differ significantly.
Russian Orthodox Christians hold that Scripture is authoritative, while Protestants consider both Bible and tradition equally valid sources of revelation from God. Additionally, they honor the Virgin Mary but don’t ascribe any role in salvation like Roman Catholics do.
The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the world’s major religious traditions, though it remains little-known outside Russia. Its Eastern roots, dogmas, canons and practices are extensive and diverse – much of it having survived both tsarist and communist rule to remain relevant today.
Orthodox Christianity is founded upon Scripture and tradition, traced back to Jesus Christ’s institution. Its doctrines include the Holy Trinity and the inseparable yet distinct union between two natures in Christ.
Catholics and Orthodox Christians share a similar faith and practice similar rituals such as the sign of the cross and baptism. However, there are some fundamental distinctions between them which cannot be ignored: for instance, the Pope is not considered to be the head of all Christians, while both confessions disagree on the nature of the Holy Trinity.
Orthodox Christians hold that the Bible is the supreme source of belief and worship for Christianity. They understand it to be the Word of God, providing ultimate authority on all matters related to salvation for mankind.
The Orthodox Church does not hold to one interpretation of the Bible; rather, it draws inspiration from Holy Tradition as its primary source for biblical instruction and practice. This includes writings, teachings, acts, decisions of Apostles and saints throughout history as well as liturgical and sacramental traditions within the Church itself.
In addition, the Orthodox Church recognizes the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Apostles and their disciples. These include apostleship, prophecy, healing, teaching, evangelism, pastoring and administration – especially evident during liturgical and sacramental celebrations within the Church.
Liturgy is the visible face of the Church, drawing people into God’s work through celebration of Sacraments. It also encompasses Divine Office – daily prayer – as part of its celebration.
Orthodox Christians view liturgy as the central act of worshipping the Holy Eucharist, from which all other rites and services flow.
The Sacred Liturgy is a service with an ancient tradition dating back thousands of years. The early Christian churches used various liturgical practices, many of which are still observed today by Orthodox communities worldwide.
The Church’s ecclesiastical authority has long been reluctant to make major modifications in the liturgy, particularly when this would necessitate catechetical preparation for all those involved. Therefore, the Orthodox Church has maintained a firm commitment to preserving some of its oldest sacramental rites that date back from early Christian days.
Discipline is a set of rules that must be observed and upheld. Orthodox churches such as the Russian Orthodox Church and Catholic churches enforce discipline on their members to prevent misbehaving or transgressing the boundaries of the church.
The Russian Orthodox church and Catholic church stress the importance of discipline to develop moral values. This helps them live a good life and steer clear of bad habits or crimes.
Russian Orthodox and Catholic religious bodies take great care not to violate laws in order to uphold their religious beliefs. This includes not joining political parties nor using liturgical rites as tools of politics.
Conversion is one of the most fundamental and often neglected aspects of Christian living. It is a spiritual process of growing in knowledge of Jesus Christ that affects oneself and those around you.
The Orthodox Church recognizes this as an essential aspect of Christian discipleship and strives to promote genuine conversion among its people. That is why they go into schools, hospitals and other public places not only for publicity but also to provide a space where Christians can come together voluntarily.
Since the dissolution of Soviet Union, the Catholic Church has been actively engaged in trying to convert Russians. As a result, there are now numerous Catholic churches, seminaries and monasteries scattered throughout Russia.