Difference Between Orthodox and Catholic

Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world. It is further divided into several denominations such as Orthodox and Catholic. While the denominations share a lot of similarities, they are actually vastly different from each other. Here are the reasons why Orthodox and Catholic are unlike each other.

Eastern Orthodox Church

The Eastern Orthodox is the second largest Christian church and is known as one of the oldest religious organizations in the world. It is a religion based on the Nicene Creed.  One of the most apparent characteristics of the Orthodox Church is that it does not have a Pope as its highest religious figure. Instead, they recognize a presiding bishop over its College of Bishops, although infallible and does not hold a supreme authority over churches and institutions.

Children are also involved much earlier in Orthodox churches – while Catholics do baptize children, Orthodox churches encourage babies to engage in the congregation as well as receive communion as early as possible.

The liturgy in Orthodox churches have experienced little revision over the years. While Roman Catholic doctrines experience changes over time, the Orthodox churches believe in remaining firm to existing doctrines and the New Testament. This is due to the belief that the Bible is not to be changed in order to avoid false doctrines.

Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church as well as the world’s oldest international institution that continues up to this day. It is headed by the Pope, who has supreme authority over its churches. The Holy See in Vatican City serves as the church’s central administration.

Roman Catholic children are baptized into the religion as early as on the day of their birth, but their actual involvement with the congregation is dependent on the family and community’s influence and guidance.

Catholic doctrine is prone to many changes as opposed to the more traditionally-inclined Orthodox churches.

Comparison Board

Orthodox
Catholic
Definition The second largest Christian Church ; a denomination of Christianity The largest Christian Church; a denomination of Christianity
Affiliation Christianity Christianity
Highest religious figure None, although there is a higher bishop that presides over others in the College of Bishops The Pope
Clergy Priests, deacons and bishops; deaconesses in some cases

Bishops are required to be celibate but priests and deacons may be married prior to ordination

Celibate priests and bishops, save for some institutions that allow married priests
Divorce Generally permitted only in cases of adultery Marriage is an unbreakable contract; remarriage is not allowed save for cases of canonical impediment; permits annulments
Mary’s Assumption Accepted Dogma of the Church
Mary’s Immaculate Conception Rejected Dogma of the Church
Pope Same authority as the other bishops of Rome, rejected infallibility Vicar of Christ and head of the Church; possesses supreme authority in the Christendom
View on purgatory Reject the concept Accept the concept
Liturgy and worship Divine Liturgy at the center; Worship in vernacular or Greek Worship is centered on Mass; Worship in vernacular or Latin

 

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