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Eastern Orthodox Christianity And Roman Catholic Christianity Religion Essay

Until 1054 AD Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism were branches of the same body - the main one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Cathedral. This date grades an important moment in time in the history of all Religious denominations. It designates the 1st major department in Christianity and the start of "denominations. " Disagreement between both of these branches of Christendom possessed long existed, however the gap between your Roman and Eastern churches increased throughout the first millennium.

In 1054 AD, a formal break up took place when Pope Leo IX, head of the Roman branch, excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius. He was the leader of the Eastern branch. Michael Cerularius, in return, condemned the Pope in common excommunication. Two most important disputes at the time were Rome's lay claim to a universal papal supremacy and the adding of the filioque to the Nicene Creed.

To today's date, the Eastern and Traditional western churches remain divided and split. However, in 1965, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras agreed to formally take away the mutual excommunication of 1054.

Religious Distinctions 3

The Difference between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic Christianity

The Pope

The main distinction between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity is due to the identification of the Pope. Roman Catholics realize the Pope as infallible. The Pope has supreme expert over-all churches, and they can usurp the power of a lower ranking church head, like a priest, bishop, or cardinal (O'Conner, 1997).

The Eastern Orthodox also has various bishops with one being the best bishop, called the "first among equals", but the Eastern Orthodox Church does not believe that the highest standing bishop, or archbishop, to be infallible, nor do they grant him with supreme expert over-all churches (Collins & Price, 1999).


Another main difference is in the teaching of Purgatory. Corresponding to Roman Catholic theology, those souls destined for heaven must withstand circumstances of purification. They need to be cleansed of sins devoted on earth. The others go to hell for eternal abuse. Also from a kind of merits or extra sophistication gathered by the virtue of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, indulgencies may be granted. The sophistication is put on those in purgatory in order to shorten their time there (O'Conner, 1997).

Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that after the soul leaves the body, it journeys to the abode of the inactive (Hades). The soul will remain in this problem of waiting around. Because some have a prevision of the glory to come while others a foretaste of their suffering, the condition of waiting is named "Particular Judgment". When Christ dividends, the soul rejoins its risen body to be judged by Him, and the nice and faithful servant will inherit life. The unfaithful will spend eternity in hell. Their sins and their unbelief will torture them as fire (Chadwick, 1995).

Religious Differences 4

Doctrinal Development

In mention of Doctrine, in order to justify new doctrine, Roman Catholicism developed the theory of "Doctrinal Development". Roman Catholicism presents this theology as growing in phases to higher and even more clearly defined levels of knowledge. It teaches the idea that Christ offered us a genuine deposit of beliefs, and a seed which grows up and matures in the centuries. They believe tradition is just as important as the Bible (O'Conner, 1997).

Eastern Orthodoxy will not endorse the view that the teachings of Christ have improved from time to time. They think that Christianity has continued to be unaltered from the moment that the Lord delivered the Trust to the Apostles (Mat. 28:18-20). Eastern Orthodox of the twenty first century believes precisely what was assumed in the first century.

Nicene Creed

A major disagreement between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism focuses on the adding of the "filioque" to the Nicene Creed. This specific conflict is also known as the "Filioque Controversy. " In Latin, this phrase means "and from the Child. " It had been inserted into the Nicene Creed, changing the key phrase pertaining to the origin of the Holy Heart from "who arises from the daddy" to "who proceeds from the Father and the Kid" (Collins & Price, 1997, p. 27). Roman Catholicism made this change on the specialist of the Pope. Eastern Orthodoxy thought this spurned the Apostolic Custom which always educated that God the daddy is the single Way to obtain the Child and the Nature (Collins & Price, 1997).


There are many other distinctions between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. A couple of dissimilarities in how trust is trained, the substance of God, the task of Christ, the Holy Canons, the mysteries, the nature of man, and the Virgin Mary. Yet another would be the icons of Orthodox worship, and the statues of Catholic worship.

It also needs to be mentioned that while there a wide range of dissimilarities between Eastern Orthodoxy

Religious Variances 5

and Roman Catholicism, there are also many similarities between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism that should be researched as well.

Religious Variances 6

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