Difference Between The Roman Catholic And Greek Orthodox Churches
There were 5 primary centers of Christianity during the 4th century which were Alexandria (Egypt), Constantinople (at present Turkey), Antioch (Greece), Jerusalem (Israel), and Rome (Italy). However with the prosperity of Islam only Rome and Constantinople were the main centers. Later on the lessening powers of these centers led to the Great Schism in year 1054 AD. Thus Greek Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox was born which in a way is similar to Roman Catholicism as far as the tradition of the Jesus Christ and Apostles are concerned.
With the prosperity of these religions, few differences cropped up which till date are faithfully held on to. The first of them is that Roman Catholics think that the Pope is flawless and can say the opposite to the lower ranked leaders of the church. However according to the Greek Orthodox belief there is a ‘highest bishop’ who is also called ‘first among equals’. This Bishop is not perfect and does not have ultimate influence over the churches.
Another point of difference is that the language that is used in case of Roman Catholic, services is Latin; however the Greek Orthodox makes use of native languages.
The concept of both these groups about original sin is also different. It is true that both believe that original sin does exist and can be cleansed through baptism; their concept of the effect of the original sin on mankind is different. The difference lies when they apply the belief on the mother of Jesus Christ Mary. The Catholics believe that Mary was born with no original sin unlike the Greek Orthodox people who believe that Mary like normal people was born to die and was chosen to be mother of Christ’s due to her virtuous life. There are further differences between them which states that Greek Orthodox Churches have icons and Roman Catholic Churches have statues.
According to the Greek Orthodox belief the early church and the Bible should be left unaltered. They believe that this is a means to minimize profanation and false dogmas. This according to them is a means to obey the warning of Jesus that tells men to be careful of the human customs that are linked to Christ’s teachings. However in case of the Roman Catholic Church, the doctrines (that are modified by bishops, popes) and the well known appliances of the Holy Spirit are thought to be more intellectual and it bears the illumination endowed by the Spirit itself.
As far as priests are concerned Greek Orthodox priests can marry before they are ordained unlike in case of Roman Catholic priests, who cannot marry.
The Roman Catholics accept the concept of the Stations of the Cross and also purgatory while Greek Orthodox believers do not accept these ideas.
As far as the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is concerned the Greek Orthodox uses unleavened bread and the Roman Catholics uses unleavened wafer. The calculation of the days related to Easter and Christmas are also different for both these groups. As far as the beliefs are concerned the Greek Orthodox believes in mysticism and spiritual practices while the way Roman Catholic believes is too legalistic and it is based on rational conjecture.
1. Both Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox followers believe in one and same God.
2. Unlike the Greek Orthodox believers, the Roman Catholics believe that the Pope as flawless.
3. While Roman Catholics consider that Mary is free from original sin the Greek Orthodox believers don’t.
4. Greek Orthodox priests can marry before they are ordained unlike in case of Roman Catholic priests, who cannot marry.
5. The language that is used in case of Roman Catholic, services is Latin; however the Greek Orthodox makes use of native languages.
6. Roman Catholics pay homage to statues unlike the Greek Orthodox believers who pay homage to icons.
7. Unlike the Greek Orthodox Doctrines can be altered in Roman Catholicism.
8. Unlike the Roman Catholics the Greek Orthodox believers refuse to accept the concepts of Stations of the Cross and purgatory.