What are the similarities and differences between the Catholic and Eastern orthodox Christian Churches?

2 Answers
Feb 4, 2018

The primary cause of the split was obeying the orders of the Pope. There had as developed Theological differences (The relationship of the Trinity)


Eastern and Western Roman Empires split when Rome fell in 476. The Churches in each grew apart until the Crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor. There was already a Roman Emperor in Constantinople so the Eastern Romans were put out. The religious split took place in 1054. This was the "Great Schism".

As the 2 churches drifted apart and there became small differences. The Leadership of the Eastern Church was by regional Patriarchs. There was no single leader or "Pope". The Eastern Church spoke Greek not Latin and gradually the Latin fell out of use.

The Catholic church placed emphases the human suffering of Jesus in Art so it became more realistic. Eastern Art placed emphases on the theological and the painting of Icons.

The Catholic Church teachings emphasized the Unity of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Eastern Churches on the Individuality of each part of the Trinity.


The Catholic Church used unleavened bread (without yeast to make it rise) during Communion. To them the bread and wine were literally transformed, invisibly, into the Blood and body of Christ. The Eastern believe this Christ is present during Communion and use leavened bread.

The 2 churches excommunicated each other in 1054. They both reversed this in 1965.



Feb 4, 2018

The differences are in part of tradition and part in theology,
The similarities are based in part on Biblical foundations and the basic Christian theology.


Both are sects of Christianity, that date from the very beginnings of the Christian Religon. ( There are other sects, such as the Coptic Church, the Ethiopian Church, Armenian , and Assyrian churches that also date from the earliest times.

Both believe in the recorded text of the Bible as being authoritative and from God. The Roman Catholic Church accepts books that the Greek Orthodox regard as secondary sources of truth. The Roman Catholic Church regards Catholic tradition from the early church fathers and the pronouncements of the Pope and council of Cardinals as authoritative sources of truth. The Greek Orthodox church does not regard tradition or pronouncements by the Pope as sources of truth, but does accept the early church councils such as the Council of Niceia.

The infallibility and authority of the Bishop of Rome is not accepted by the Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Orthodox church regards regional bishops as being the highest level of authhority.
Both believe in the authority of the church being past down from bishop to bishop and trace their apostlic authority back to the original 12 apostles

The Roman Catholic Church believes that personal salvation is only available through the power of the Catholic Church in providing the Eurcharist, Confession, Confirmation of the Holy Spirit, and forgiveness of sin as in the last rites.

The Greek Orthodox church feels that the church is essential in providing the means of grace that the individual must make use of.
The Greek Orthodox church feels that individuals have the Holy Spirit, not just priests and saints.

The Roman Catholic Church depended on the translation of the Greek Bible into the Latin called the Vulgate. The Greek Orthodox Church was able to read the scriptures in the original Greek. The Roman Catholic Church became a political power in Western Europe and was influenced and influenced Western culture. The Greek Orthodox Church was ruled politically by the Eastern Roman Empire and was not so influences by politics. The Greek Orthodox Church was influenced by Eastern cultures.

The similarities are based on both religions reliance on the Christian Scriptures and tradition The differences are based on differences in language, culture and traditions in the different regions where the religions were based.