Author Topic: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?  (Read 1975 times)

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Offline Simayan

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Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« on: July 31, 2005, 11:44:28 AM »
Well, I looked up the word "Catholic" in the dictionary today, and found the definition to be:

"Of or pertaining to the Christian Church as whole, including the Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches"

But I also realize Orthodox do not accept Papal leadership. So, what exactly are we, and how do we differentiate between Greek "Catholics" and Roman Catholics?
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2005, 02:09:32 PM »
The Greek word katholikos means "universal", and so is applicable to the Orthodox Church because it claims to be the universal church. Catholicism does not necessary equal Roman Catholicism. In the Nicene Creed, which we as Orthodox Christians adhere to, we claim that we believe in "one holy catholic and apostolic church."

The word katholikos also suggests "conciliar". In the Romanian translation of the Nicene Creed, for example, the believer literally states that he believes in "one holy conciliar (soborneasca) and apostolic Church"

Offline SeanMc

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2005, 02:10:53 PM »
The term Catholic here doesn't refer to the "churches in communion with Rome," but the universal Church which holds the universal (Catholic) faith.

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2005, 02:49:04 PM »
Both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox (including Oriental Orthodox) believe in the "one, holy, catholic an apostolic church," as stated in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, but what we mean by that is somewhat different. For Roman Catholics, the full catholicity (or universality) of the Church of Christ is manifested only in the person of the Bishop of Rome, whom they regard as the "Vicar of Christ" and as the "Supreme Pontif." For Orthodox Catholics (and again, this includes the Oriental Orthodox churches), the catholicity of the Church of Christ is manifest in the local church centered around the local bishop. My bishop, for example (His Grace +Thomas of Oakland and the East) is equal in ecclesial authority to any other Orthodox bishop.

I actually prefer, rather than refer to myelf as Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox, since I am neither Greek nor Russian nor Arab, to refer to myself as an Orthodox Catholic. This title expresses fully what we believe about our Church: it is the Catholic Church of the Nicene Creed, which has kept the faith in its full Orthodoxy. In the West, however, and understandably so, many Orthodox are wary about being confused with Roman Catholics, so they don't call themselves Catholic. But we are. We are Catholics in the fullest and most orthodox sense of the word.

 ;D
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Offline GiC

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2005, 03:28:28 PM »
Ah yes, the 'Roman Catholic Church,' which is Neither Roman nor Catholic...but I guess it does sound better than the 'Germanic Arian Church,' even if less honest. ;)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2005, 03:29:12 PM by greekischristian »
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2005, 03:43:21 PM »
Thank you, it makes much more sense now.

However, I have one more question:

Ive noticed in RC churches, the people take their thumb and rub it in the spot between their eyes and then under their lower lip. What does this signify?
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Offline GiC

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2005, 03:55:33 PM »
Thank you, it makes much more sense now.

However, I have one more question:

Ive noticed in RC churches, the people take their thumb and rub it in the spot between their eyes and then under their lower lip. What does this signify?

The Latins use their thumb to make the Sign of the Cross on their forehead, lips, and heart before the gospel reading, signifying something along the lines of belief in the Gospel, promise to proclaim the Gospel, and promise to keep the Gospel in their heart respectively.
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2005, 03:56:48 PM »
Ive noticed in RC churches, the people take their thumb and rub it in the spot between their eyes and then under their lower lip. What does this signify?

If it's happening right before the Gospel is read, it's actually a three-part action.  The person makes a very small sign of the cross with their thumb on their forehead, lips, and chest.  If I recall correctly, it means "let my mind understand, my lips proclaim, and my heart believe" or something to that effect.  It's also customary in Anglicanism (where I learned it) and I've encountered it in the Antiochian Archdiocese, as well.
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2005, 03:57:57 PM »
Ah yes, the 'Roman Catholic Church,' which is Neither Roman nor Catholic...but I guess it does sound better than the 'Germanic Arian Church,' even if less honest. ;)

Since the Romans can't actually be the Church (that being us), would "Germanic Arian Religious Organization" be more appropriate?
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Offline GiC

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2005, 04:01:26 PM »
Since the Romans can't actually be the Church (that being us),

But the Romans are the Church, it is the Latins who are divorced from it ;)
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2005, 04:04:53 PM »
Bleh.  You knew what I meant.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2005, 05:12:17 PM »
The Greek word katholikos means "universal",

"Catholic" does not simply mean "universal". If it does, why do we not translate it as such in the Creed?
The word "Catholic" is a composite of the two words "kata" ("according to") and "olos" ("the whole"). What this means is that every local Church under a bishop contains the same fullness of Grace as ther entire Church does, and each parish Church and monastic community is the same as the entire Church- they function "according to the whole".
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Offline prodromos

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Re: Greek Orthodox = Catholic?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2005, 05:45:28 AM »
Ah yes, the 'Roman Catholic Church,' which is Neither Roman nor Catholic...but I guess it does sound better than the 'Germanic Arian Church,' even if less honest. ;)
I don't think I would consider Papal catholics to be Arians, but yes, Rome ceased to be Roman long ago while the Roman Empire continued to exist until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Greeks were still Romans then and continued to see themselves as such afterwards.
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